Brandon Sullivan looks at the dynamic of unalloyed sectarianism which in his view propelled loyalism  throughout the Northern conflict.

This is a piece about the activities of violent Ulster loyalists. The two main loyalist paramilitary organisations, the UVF and UDA, are of course separate and distinct entities. But for those at the receiving end of their violence, whoever attacked them is a moot point. And, in terms of praxis, little really differentiates them.

The focus will be on the sectarian murder of Catholics by loyalists. Whilst loyalist paramilitaries did kill republican paramilitaries and politicians, and members of the security forces, they were in comparatively tiny numbers.

To head off at the pass any “whataboutery” I would like to see similar pieces written about campaigns of sectarian murder carried out by republicans. The simple fact is that squads of young men from the Catholic community sought out and murdered civilians, simply because they had identified them as Protestant or because they were in Protestant areas. Sometimes the victims were tortured first, like the murder of Samuel White in December 1972 (Political Violence in Northern Ireland, p144) and sometimes knives were used to kill, as in July 1981 when two Shankill Road civilians were stabbed to death (Lost Lives, p871 – 872). Loyalists do not have a monopoly on sectarianism or sadistic violence.

Sectarian murder defines loyalist paramilitaries, no matter how much they might like to claim otherwise. Their campaigns are the very definition of terrorism:

“Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

I consider sectarian murder to be a despicable crime, no matter who the perpetrator is, and no matter who the victim was. This is my attempt to contextualise possible forces behind loyalist actions that left hundreds dead, and thousand injured, bereaved, and/or imprisoned.

I was inspired to do so following a discussion on TPQ in which commenters, presumably from the PUL community, focused not on the abuse of Catholic schoolgirls, but instead the alleged actions of republicans. This reeked of insecurity and guilt, and a complete failure of imagination and informed, personal reflection.

My hope is that reasoned debate and discussion will follow.

♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞    

Progressive Unionist Party leader, Belfast City Councillor Billy Hutchinson, bereft of the eloquence often attributed to his predecessor, said in 2014 that the “IRA left me with no option” but to do what he did. The estimable historian Gareth Mulvenna will be releasing an authorised book about Hutchinson, but it is unlikely to go into details about what he did illegally on behalf of the UVF. But we do know that he was convicted of the murder of two men on the Falls Road in 1974, and we also know that they were half-brothers, and that their father was a Protestant – a relative of Gusty Spence.

Hutchinson went on to say that random murders of civilians in Catholic areas was because “the UVF had a very clear policy at one stage that they would drive the IRA out of the community.” In other words, loyalist paramilitaries murdered civilians in Catholic areas so that the friends, relatives and neighbours of their victims would pressure the IRA to cease their campaign.

Fellow UVF man Eddie Kinnear defined his personal philosophy in the 1970s as:

I thought that if they could bomb one place, I can bomb two … if they can shoot one person dead, I can shoot two. They [Catholics] were the enemy.

The hapless Mr Kinnear attacked a Catholic pub in 1975 in a botched bomb attack which killed one of his comrades and a woman customer. As Kinnear recovered in hospital from wounds inflicted by his own bomb, the IRA attacked a pub in his native Shankill, the Mountainview Tavern, killing five.

Indeed, it was republicans, not loyalists, who first bombed pubs in the most recent conflict. The Four Step Inn being the first targeted, in 1971, resulting in two deaths. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association described the murders as the “work of politically bankrupt madmen”. We can only speculate of those who bombed the Four Step Inn did so for any reason other than crude sectarian hatred, but we do know that the son of one of those murdered, “Joker” Andrews, joined the UDA, and spent many years in prison for sectarian crimes.

Many loyalist paramilitaries jailed for their activities in the 1970s cited the murder of Protestants as the reason they “got involved.” Hutchinson himself acknowledged that the strategy “didn’t work; in fact, it actually encouraged Catholics to join the IRA.” (Mulvenna, Tartan Gangs, p163). Hutchinson’s reflections are confirmed by a North Belfast IRA commander who said: 
 
Those sectarian killings actually benefited the IRA. They led to greater support for us in those areas. We could respond eventually by taking out leading loyalists, which proved to the people that the IRA was there protecting them. (Killing Rage, p5).

This leads to an obvious question: why did loyalists believe that their sectarian murders and bombings would pressure the nationalist community to reject violence, when, by their own deeds, they proved that radicalisation, polarisation, violence and murder were the visceral outcome of such acts being visited upon a community?

Jennifer Todd in her excellent article “Two Traditions in Unionist Political Culture” noted that, for loyalists, the “core assumption is that the only alternative to Ulster loyalist dominance is Ulster loyalist defeat and humiliation”. Loyalists didn’t just want the IRA to stop their campaign, they wanted a return to the status quo: a status quo which “involves Protestant dominance”.

As David Ervine said:

When my society is attacked from without, the questions and the challenges enter my community like an Exocet missile and explode inside, causing fear and trepidation - or further fear and trepidation. We then do what all tribes do; we weld ourselves into an homogeneous unit to be driven by the lowest common denominator because of the fear of what is outside the tribe … It is a question of defining who we are and what we are; the simple terms in which we see ourselves and indeed in which others see us are quite frankly frightening.

I don’t believe that loyalist paramilitary organisations sat down in the early 1970s and devised a strategy to defeat the IRA using sectarian murder. I believe that their campaign of murdering and intimidating Catholics was in large part a reaction to what they perceived as humiliation, and in furtherance of an agenda to dominate the minority population. In “peaceful” times, loyalists could use low-level intimidation to achieve these ends. In violent times, they would resort to terrorism.

It is my view that loyalism has always lacked popular leadership of sufficient quality to instil confidence within their community to move on, and past, the traditional drive to dominate and to be seen as powerful. Until that happens, the spectre of sectarian murder by loyalists will remain.

Brandon Sullivan is a middle aged, middle management, centre-left Belfast man. Would prefer people focused on the actual bad guys.

Reflections On Loyalist Paramilitary Activity ➖ Sectarian Murder

Brandon Sullivan looks at the dynamic of unalloyed sectarianism which in his view propelled loyalism  throughout the Northern conflict.

This is a piece about the activities of violent Ulster loyalists. The two main loyalist paramilitary organisations, the UVF and UDA, are of course separate and distinct entities. But for those at the receiving end of their violence, whoever attacked them is a moot point. And, in terms of praxis, little really differentiates them.

The focus will be on the sectarian murder of Catholics by loyalists. Whilst loyalist paramilitaries did kill republican paramilitaries and politicians, and members of the security forces, they were in comparatively tiny numbers.

To head off at the pass any “whataboutery” I would like to see similar pieces written about campaigns of sectarian murder carried out by republicans. The simple fact is that squads of young men from the Catholic community sought out and murdered civilians, simply because they had identified them as Protestant or because they were in Protestant areas. Sometimes the victims were tortured first, like the murder of Samuel White in December 1972 (Political Violence in Northern Ireland, p144) and sometimes knives were used to kill, as in July 1981 when two Shankill Road civilians were stabbed to death (Lost Lives, p871 – 872). Loyalists do not have a monopoly on sectarianism or sadistic violence.

Sectarian murder defines loyalist paramilitaries, no matter how much they might like to claim otherwise. Their campaigns are the very definition of terrorism:

“Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

I consider sectarian murder to be a despicable crime, no matter who the perpetrator is, and no matter who the victim was. This is my attempt to contextualise possible forces behind loyalist actions that left hundreds dead, and thousand injured, bereaved, and/or imprisoned.

I was inspired to do so following a discussion on TPQ in which commenters, presumably from the PUL community, focused not on the abuse of Catholic schoolgirls, but instead the alleged actions of republicans. This reeked of insecurity and guilt, and a complete failure of imagination and informed, personal reflection.

My hope is that reasoned debate and discussion will follow.

♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞ ♟ ♜ ♞    

Progressive Unionist Party leader, Belfast City Councillor Billy Hutchinson, bereft of the eloquence often attributed to his predecessor, said in 2014 that the “IRA left me with no option” but to do what he did. The estimable historian Gareth Mulvenna will be releasing an authorised book about Hutchinson, but it is unlikely to go into details about what he did illegally on behalf of the UVF. But we do know that he was convicted of the murder of two men on the Falls Road in 1974, and we also know that they were half-brothers, and that their father was a Protestant – a relative of Gusty Spence.

Hutchinson went on to say that random murders of civilians in Catholic areas was because “the UVF had a very clear policy at one stage that they would drive the IRA out of the community.” In other words, loyalist paramilitaries murdered civilians in Catholic areas so that the friends, relatives and neighbours of their victims would pressure the IRA to cease their campaign.

Fellow UVF man Eddie Kinnear defined his personal philosophy in the 1970s as:

I thought that if they could bomb one place, I can bomb two … if they can shoot one person dead, I can shoot two. They [Catholics] were the enemy.

The hapless Mr Kinnear attacked a Catholic pub in 1975 in a botched bomb attack which killed one of his comrades and a woman customer. As Kinnear recovered in hospital from wounds inflicted by his own bomb, the IRA attacked a pub in his native Shankill, the Mountainview Tavern, killing five.

Indeed, it was republicans, not loyalists, who first bombed pubs in the most recent conflict. The Four Step Inn being the first targeted, in 1971, resulting in two deaths. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association described the murders as the “work of politically bankrupt madmen”. We can only speculate of those who bombed the Four Step Inn did so for any reason other than crude sectarian hatred, but we do know that the son of one of those murdered, “Joker” Andrews, joined the UDA, and spent many years in prison for sectarian crimes.

Many loyalist paramilitaries jailed for their activities in the 1970s cited the murder of Protestants as the reason they “got involved.” Hutchinson himself acknowledged that the strategy “didn’t work; in fact, it actually encouraged Catholics to join the IRA.” (Mulvenna, Tartan Gangs, p163). Hutchinson’s reflections are confirmed by a North Belfast IRA commander who said: 
 
Those sectarian killings actually benefited the IRA. They led to greater support for us in those areas. We could respond eventually by taking out leading loyalists, which proved to the people that the IRA was there protecting them. (Killing Rage, p5).

This leads to an obvious question: why did loyalists believe that their sectarian murders and bombings would pressure the nationalist community to reject violence, when, by their own deeds, they proved that radicalisation, polarisation, violence and murder were the visceral outcome of such acts being visited upon a community?

Jennifer Todd in her excellent article “Two Traditions in Unionist Political Culture” noted that, for loyalists, the “core assumption is that the only alternative to Ulster loyalist dominance is Ulster loyalist defeat and humiliation”. Loyalists didn’t just want the IRA to stop their campaign, they wanted a return to the status quo: a status quo which “involves Protestant dominance”.

As David Ervine said:

When my society is attacked from without, the questions and the challenges enter my community like an Exocet missile and explode inside, causing fear and trepidation - or further fear and trepidation. We then do what all tribes do; we weld ourselves into an homogeneous unit to be driven by the lowest common denominator because of the fear of what is outside the tribe … It is a question of defining who we are and what we are; the simple terms in which we see ourselves and indeed in which others see us are quite frankly frightening.

I don’t believe that loyalist paramilitary organisations sat down in the early 1970s and devised a strategy to defeat the IRA using sectarian murder. I believe that their campaign of murdering and intimidating Catholics was in large part a reaction to what they perceived as humiliation, and in furtherance of an agenda to dominate the minority population. In “peaceful” times, loyalists could use low-level intimidation to achieve these ends. In violent times, they would resort to terrorism.

It is my view that loyalism has always lacked popular leadership of sufficient quality to instil confidence within their community to move on, and past, the traditional drive to dominate and to be seen as powerful. Until that happens, the spectre of sectarian murder by loyalists will remain.

Brandon Sullivan is a middle aged, middle management, centre-left Belfast man. Would prefer people focused on the actual bad guys.

72 comments:

  1. "I was inspired to do so following a discussion on TPQ in which commenters, presumably from the PUL community, focused not on the abuse of Catholic schoolgirls, but instead the alleged actions of republicans. This reeked of insecurity and guilt, and a complete failure of imagination and informed, personal reflection."

    As discussed previously, it was the actions of Republicans in the lead up to Holy Cross that sparked all the fear in Glenbyrn. There's no dispute that it was sectarian either. Try as you might you will never dissuade me of anything else Brandon. Fact is that school was open since 69 and not a word was uttered before the killing of the Protestant civilian Kells by the Provos. If it was about the schoolgirls it would have happened many years earlier.

    I agree with the rest of your synopsis however. Sectarianism is and was rife in the Loyalist community because like Yoda says, fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate.

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    Replies
    1. Steve - Kells (who was seemingly not killed by the Provisional IRA) might go some way to explaining fear. It goes no way to explaining hatred and targeting children to vent that hatred on. There is something more primordial about that.

      Delete
    2. @ Steve R

      “As discussed previously, it was the actions of Republicans in the lead up to Holy Cross that sparked all the fear in Glenbyrn. There's no dispute that it was sectarian either. Try as you might you will never dissuade me of anything else Brandon. Fact is that school was open since 69 and not a word was uttered before the killing of the Protestant civilian Kells by the Provos. If it was about the schoolgirls it would have happened many years earlier.

      I agree with the rest of your synopsis however. Sectarianism is and was rife in the Loyalist community because like Yoda says, fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate.”

      Do you realise that this isn’t the first time that adult loyalist terrorists specifically targeted Catholic schoolchildren? I’m sure that the men who bombed Weaver Street in 1922 had their own version what “sparked all the fear.”

      Let me be sympathetic to your point and concede that the Kells murder sparked fear. Can you tell me how literally attacking schoolchildren on their way to school made anyone safer? I am not in the IRA/INLA, and I didn’t live in North Belfast, but I am quite sure that there were demands for republican paramilitaries to target loyalists and/or Protestants as a result of the abuse of the schoolchildren.

      So how did targeting the schoolchildren reduce “the fear in Glenbyrn”?

      Let me further develop this point. The men who perpetrated the outrages at Holy Cross, I am quite sure, will be pretty much the dregs of their community. Any man who throws urine at schoolgirls, and hurls sexualised, and sectarian, slurs at children will have a host of anti-social traits. This is conjecture, but I’m fairly confident from what I’ve read that this will be the case. The low-lives that threw the urine and traumatised schoolgirls are not the main issue. It is the fact that nobody within their community would stop them, and that the pillars of their community refused to forcefully, and with effect, condemn them. So they continued. And others, even now, say that it was republicans that

      You, I am sorry to say, are part of the dysfunction that is loyalism. Your attachment to the idea that Holy Cross happened because of a specific republican action would be laughable were it not to serious. Every community has men who would enjoy publicly abusing schoolchildren of a different ethnic or tribal group, but outside of 1960s Alabama, the only community sufficiently dysfunctional to facilitate and allow this wretched behaviour is the loyalist community.

      Holy Cross happened because generation after generation of loyalists are radicalised to hate Catholics. Holy Cross happened not because loyalists were afraid, but because they were humiliated. Whether that humiliation happened because of the Kells murder (which I don’t believe), or because Catholics were walking down “their” streets, is not really important.

      Holy Cross happened because nobody in the loyalist community did anything to stop it. Nobody in the loyalist community did anything to stop it because the loyalist community, for generations, blame the actions of loyalist degenerates on republicans.

      As a postscript, the men who murdered Trevor Kells were shot in the elbows and knees by “their own side” for what they did. From the vile Nigel Dodds on down, loyalism downplayed, excused, and facilitated Holy Cross.

      And you, Steve R, are continuing to do so.

      Delete
  2. "...commenters, presumably from the PUL community, focused not on the abuse of Catholic schoolgirls, but instead the alleged actions of republicans"

    I don't believe in gods or heavens, I believe we have one life only and that that life is precious. I believe taking and innocent man's life is infinitely worse than shouting abuse. Kells was not "allegedly" killed by republicans, he was murdered by republicans (PIRA members with a PIRA weapon). I was vehemently against the Holy Cross abuse of children, it was despicable and evil but not worse than the talking of an innocent man's only life.

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    1. But this was not the mere shouting of abuse otherwise it would not have gained the traction it did.
      This also involved throwing a bomb and the ratcheting up of hatred so venomous that there are grounds to suspect the killing of children was not too many steps removed. Hate crime because of its horrific potential is what earns it a reserved place.
      Kells was no more killed by the Provisional IRA than the people in the Falls Road SF office in 1992 were killed by the RUC - a RUC member with a RUC weapon killed them. It's propaganda to claim the RUC killed them much as it is in the case of claiming the IRA killed Kells.

      Delete
  3. I said republicans killed Kells, and in my opinion it is more primordially evil to call a taxi and kill whoever turns up merely because of the drivers so called religion/community. We were all horrified by Holy Cross, especially once C coy got involved, because we saw it on the telly. If we had seen Kells getting his brains blew out on telly then maybe we would all have thought that more shocking and evil.

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  4. That's right you did say republicans. Much as a RUC member with a RUC weapon killed three people in the SF office. I wonder what context is trying to emerge when we introduce these seeming qualifications.
    Shooting people dead had become a common event during the Northern conflict. By that stage society had grown fatigued or used distancing techniques as a coping mechanism about something they could do nothing about. The type of hatred on display at Holy Cross seemed unprecedented which meant it never had time to be wrapped in the mundane.
    I never think unionists get far when they say terrible but rather than terrible period. Kells killing was brutal period. No amount of sermonising about previous injustices or unionist violence in the North detracts from that.
    Brandon for his part takes a plague on all houses attitude to the practice of sectarianism.

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  5. The people in the SF office were killed by a loyalist (RUC member with an RUC weapon), is that propagandising? I don't get your point.

    Children are attacked every day in North Belfast, buses stoned, interface beatings etc The people of Glenbryn, rightly or wrongly believed they were being attacked at night, the Kells murder, the children being knocked off the ladder while putting up flags etc etc and the people doing it were then free to walk through the community they had just attacked the next morning. They were angry and lost the run of themselves to a horrifying degree. The murder of Kells had no rhyme or reason, it was completely unprovoked. I don't understand why you are so fixated on the Holy Cross attack but not the Kells murder which was worse. If you had been fixated on the Quinn brothers murders which was infinitely more despicable than Holy Cross, with the actual murder of children with no provocation I would be totally with you.

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    1. @ Peter

      I remember being drunk in a pub and watching the news coming on about the Quinn brothers being burned to death. I remember rage, hot, visceral rage. And I remember watching the protests at Drumcree aghast that those supposed men of God continued their protest that provided a background against which those three boys were burned to death, and Bernadette Martin was murdered, and a taxi-driver, Michael McGoldrick, was shot through the head, partly for the crime of being born into a supposedly Catholic family, and partly as a “birthday present” for arch loyalist Billy Wright.

      It was Drumcree that got me interested in loyalism. I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing and reading about. I devoured two books, one about Drumcree, and one called Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People.

      An Unsettled People told of how the author, Susan McKay, went to Ballymoney to speak to people about the Quinn murders. People were in a state of denial. “There was more to that than met the eye” was what people said. Rumours of a personal grudge. Hints that drugs were involved. What actually happened was that the UVF sent intimidating and threatening cards to Catholics, because they were Catholics, and then some UVF members drove to a Catholic house and then threw a massive firebomb into that house and murdered three children.

      But loyalism can’t allow its actions to stand nakedly on their own. People must see the bigger picture - understand that they were taunted, driven to it. That there was provocation.

      If Holy Cross was done out of fear for the Kells murder, what should republicans have done “out of fear “when a taxi-driver, three children, and an 18 year old girl were murdered during a massive demonstration of Orange might?

      I return, again, to the theme of humiliation and domination. The British government humiliated loyalism by refusing to allow their annual display of dominance to take place in Portadown. And, when humiliated, loyalists resort(ed) to terrorism.

      And the Quinn children, Bernadette Martin, Michael McGoldrick, and the people of Garvaghy Road paid the price.

      Delete
  6. yeah - to a point. The RUC didn't do it. it could also be added that the person was a white male Protestant. None of which seems more germane than his belonging to the RUC or which weapon he used. When we decide to include or exclude there is usually a reason behind it.

    I am not fixated on the Holy Cross issue. Think I wrote about it when it happened and nothing until the strange response to Brandon's earlier comments. It just interests me the bind some unionists get themselves into trying to explain why hatred was so venomous and directed at those so young. Most understand killing even when totally opposed to it. Few understand the hatred of infants and there is nothing you have said that enlightens us any better.
    It is strange that the Holy Cross issue stands out in our minds which the Quinn killing doesn't. It might be something to do with who was being targeted: If the Quinn children were the target, it was vile and worse. But we did not see a sizeable section of people gather to do it or cheer on those who did. This is what makes Holy Cross qualitatively different. Everybody there screaming at infants knew the kids were not out shooting Kells or attacking their community at night. That visceral, primordial hatred still causes us to ponder on it. There are some things so beyond the pale that no mitigation is possible.

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  7. "Weaver Street in 1922 had their own version what “sparked all the fear.”

    1922, really? Hardly the same people involved! It's hard to put a point across when you move the goalposts Brandon.

    "Can you tell me how literally attacking schoolchildren on their way to school made anyone safer? "

    I didn't and I don't. There's no excuse. what I'm telling you comes right from those involved. Around the murder of Kells Republicans who were walking their kids to school start with provocative behaviour including noting down in a very overt fashion, the number plates of cars parked outside the residents homes. That was their reason given to me and others right at the height of it. If the roles were reversed I'm convinced the CRN community would have responded in a similar fashion.

    If it was naked sectarianism why were they not targeted from 1969 onwards?

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ Steve R

    "1922, really? Hardly the same people involved! It's hard to put a point across when you move the goalposts Brandon."

    It was people claiming the same ideology, conditioned in similar ways, and growing up with the same mythology. I'm not moving goalposts: I'm demonstrating that loyalism creates loyalists for whom attacking children, so long as they can reasonably be identified as Catholics, is considered acceptable.

    "Around the murder of Kells Republicans who were walking their kids to school start with provocative behaviour including noting down in a very overt fashion, the number plates of cars parked outside the residents homes."

    If this was true, and I don't believe it, then why weren't the people engaging in "provocative behaviour" targeted and killed? Why hurl urine at schoolgirls and seek to traumatise them?

    "That was their reason given to me and others right at the height of it."

    And you accepted it. And you are, right now, perpetuating a myth that what happened had to be understood in a wider context. Loyalism is the wider context. The unquenchable thirst to dominate others is the wider context. The ability of base and wretched actions of the most abject and vile section of a community to be accepted and given cover by others within that community is the context.

    "That was their reason given to me and others right at the height of it. If the roles were reversed I'm convinced the CRN community would have responded in a similar fashion."

    Can you give a single example of when anything remotely similar happened? When children were specifically targeted, for months on end, by adults, in public, and with community and political cover?

    Every point that you have made simply supports my thesis. Loyalism as an ideology needs to dominate. Not being in a dominant societal position is seen as a humiliation. When humiliated, loyalism resorts to extreme terrorism, in the Holy Cross case, ritualised, public, abuse of schoolgirls.

    The role that you play is that of providing passive cover. I've just watched some footage of the protests. I am struggling to understand exactly why you feel the need to reduce the culpability of those involved by positing responsibility for what happened anywhere except from the community that persecuted those schoolgirls.

    "If it was naked sectarianism why were they not targeted from 1969 onwards?"

    As I have demonstrated, it isn't the first time that loyalists have specifically targeted Catholic schoolchildren. But I have already answered your question. I will do so again. The calibre of person involved in attaching the schoolgirls would be incredibly low. Because loyalism seeks to dominate the other community, the mere sight of Catholics being unafraid to walk into a primary school is seen as a slight, a humiliation, by those persons of extremely low calibre that I spoke of earlier. Said person then threw urine, sectarian abuse, rocks etc at schoolgirls in a bit to compensate for the humiliation that they feel. Then other, allegedly more responsible members of that community, seek to rationalise (to the point of justification) the actions of utter degenerates.

    You should ask yourself what role you play in that quagmire. You've got two choices here: stick with the unreflective attachment you have demonstrated so far, the need for which I suspect is psychological rather than political, and remain on the side of those who hurl urine at school children, or look instead at loyalism, and what the fuck happened that conditioned grown men and women to behave as those grotesque examples of humanity did.

    What you are doing right now is shameful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As I have demonstrated, it isn't the first time that loyalists have specifically targeted Catholic schoolchildren."

      As I point out, 1922 is irrelevant. I'd say the Glenbyrn residents were unaware of it to boot.

      "But I have already answered your question. I will do so again."

      You haven't.

      "The calibre of person involved in attaching the schoolgirls would be incredibly low. Because loyalism seeks to dominate the other community, the mere sight of Catholics being unafraid to walk into a primary school is seen as a slight, a humiliation, by those persons of extremely low calibre that I spoke of earlier."

      If that was the case why not anytime after 1969? Why just after the Kells murder?

      " Said person then threw urine, sectarian abuse, rocks etc at schoolgirls in a bit to compensate for the humiliation that they feel. Then other, allegedly more responsible members of that community, seek to rationalise (to the point of justification) the actions of utter degenerates."

      You are labouring uder the false assumption that i'm attempting justification, I am NOT. There is and was no excuse for acting as they did. I am merely reporting what was said to me and others in the Loyalist community (I'm from South Belfast so wasn't actually there, were you in Glenbyrn?)

      "You should ask yourself what role you play in that quagmire. You've got two choices here: stick with the unreflective attachment you have demonstrated so far, the need for which I suspect is psychological rather than political, and remain on the side of those who hurl urine at school children, or look instead at loyalism, and what the fuck happened that conditioned grown men and women to behave as those grotesque examples of humanity did."

      You haven't been here long Brandon have you? I'm the first to stick the boot into the Duppers or other Loyalists if they come off with shite or revisionism.

      "What you are doing right now is shameful."

      I'll let that slide as you are seemingly determined to provoke a slanging match were it's unwarranted.

      Delete
  9. Brandon
    I am not saying that Holy Cross was done out of fear of the Kells murder, I am saying that there was provocation starting with the Kells murder and Holy Cross was the horrific outcome of the residents' perceived fear and hate. AM thinks that Holy Cross showed some exceptional "primordial hatred", maybe it does but I think the murder of Kells showed a more profound hatred than what the children faced. For me ending the only life of an innocent human being takes pure hatred.
    Regarding Drumcree, that is the reason why I am no longer a loyalist. I haven't been to a bonfire or OO parade since the early 90s and at the last election I voted AP to keep the DUP out. The reason is the vision of Rev McCrea and Billy Wright sharing a stage. I grew up being dragged on Sunday evenings to back street "gospel" halls in the Shankhill and being forced to listen to McCrea and his type. They believe they have a special goodness from god and are a "chosen" people, but really they are intolerant and evil. This mix of bible bashing evangelicals and evil hard men is toxic. We can see similar in the USA at the moment with the evangelicals and the right wing militia. It's a fucking weird mix. When I see evangelical preachers on TV it literally makes my skin crawl. It is no surprise that Wright's Top Gun is now an Elim pastor!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Peter - I don't think the Kells killing showed a more profound degree of evil. I think the killing was a much worse experience for Kells and his family than what the children and their families experienced. Killing can be done for relatively mundane reasons and often lacks a primordial hatred motive. I think more evil intent goes into torturing a person than actually killing him. And it is that mindset which I and Brandon have sought to focus on here. The equivalence is so rare that it made the world news in a way that the killing of Kells did not. That sort of hatred we tend to associate with the KKK and how it views black kids.
    The rest of what you say about evangelists makes perfect sense.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 'Loyalism' at its core is a toxic supremacist culture
    A toxic supremacist culture seeded and nurtured for too long
    For far too long, by far too many big house and big farmer Unionists

    Dumb cunts manipulated by greedy cunts
    Sum total ... total cunts!

    (Larry where the feck are ya when I need ya)

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    Replies
    1. and where would that leave people like Julie Anne Corr Johnston, Sophie Long, Izzy Giles - all people who identify as loyalist?
      Loyalism has that strain for sure and Brandon has hammered away at it here but there are more than one dimension to it. I sat on the editorial board of a magazine for years with loyalists. They come in all shapes.
      As I sometimes say, we had far too many cunts on our side for all the cunts to be on the other side.

      Delete
  12. It leaves them where they choose to position themselves
    If they choose to include themselves within that collective identity they have to take on the responsibility of deradicalising
    Quite frankly that's almost like trying to deradicalize the KKK
    Good luck with that!

    There're probably decent enough people in Loyalism but trying to prop up a despicable supremacist cultish culture will garner no praise from me
    They ought do the decent thing
    And like Peter & absent themselves

    In the end of the day AM people only do, or don't do, what makes sense to them
    What make sense to them subject to their level of understanding

    Agreed its not totally one dementional
    More maybe a case of dumb and dumber

    There are circumstances where I could break bread or share cups with Klansmen and yet wouldn't have any sympathy for their cause




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  13. HJ

    they would not see the collective identity as we do. Nor is it a monolith.

    I think it is like a chameleon and can change shape when it perceives itself as under extreme stress. But nationalism in general has long been defined as a Janus faced ideology.

    I have met quite a few of them over the years and have found very few of the KKK mentality. The KKK hate black people but I did not detract that sense of hatred with many of the loyalists I met. They were and remain robustly opposed to me but it never came over as hate and we had quite a few disagreements.

    At the same time I got the sense that they were always looking over their shoulder in a way that we were not.

    I think Brandon raises some great points and his humiliation theory explains a lot. But it is not an all embracing explanatory interpretive framework.

    My own view is that many younger people embraced loyalism because they bought into the discourse of defence in the early days. It seemed as normal for them as it did for us. Researchers meet with this time and time again. I have talked to enough negotiators and mediators about them and they had drawn similar conclusions.

    I also wonder how many actually bought into the ideology - or was it the regime of truth where nothing actually has to be believed so long as it is subscribed to? We need only look at our own history to see how we booted our suppose ideology out with the GFA and turned republican logic on its head.

    I don't think it is about "decent enough" people. The people referred to by Brandon in the book on the men of police battalion 101 were the most ordinary - even decent when back home in Hamburg - of men yet once sent on their murder mission went at it with an energy that astounds.

    I think they expect the same from us - that we absent ourselves.

    I think you are right about people doing what makes sense to them - "common sense" often makes sense when it is not that sensible at all - but that sense shaping framework needs better explained than saying it is all down to cunts.

    There has been much evil inflicted by loyalism but it is hardly alone. Bloody Sunday, Kingsmill stand out as acts of unspeakable evil.

    A few years back I described the loyalist campaign as a war crime at the strategic level. Much as the British fire bombing of German civilian populations was. But I did not describe those who were the service providers (so to speak) such as pilots and gunmen as war criminals.

    I think a sociological perspective on loyalism might fill gaps that a political perspective does not sufficiently address.

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  14. @ HJ, AM

    "and where would that leave people like Julie Anne Corr Johnston, Sophie Long, Izzy Giles - all people who identify as loyalist?"

    I think progressive loyalism is an oxymoron. One can be a left-wing unionist, but I simply don't believe that one can be a left-wing loyalist. It leads to an interesting discussion - and one that I would dearly love to see happen within the PUL community.

    The Progressive Unionist Party adopted clause 4 of the British Labour party and espouse left-of-centre politics and policies. However, they are electorally insignificant, and I believe that that insignificance is because of loyalist (and indeed unionist) mistrust of anything that appears "lefty" - although the common story is that unionists won't vote for paramilitaries.

    "The people referred to by Brandon in the book on the men of police battalion 101 were the most ordinary - even decent when back home in Hamburg - of men"

    What is so utterly fascinating about that book is how there was no overt coercion - the men of Police Batt. 101 were allowed to be excused without censure, and from memory, one man asked for it. But in the subculture of that battalion, a combination of political zeal, supremacy, comradeship, machismo and a perverted form of patriotism facilitated mass murder.

    Interestingly, once the line had been crossed into the murder of civilians, some of the men found themselves adept at it, others found it distasteful, and some discovered that they were sadists who enjoyed torturing and humiliating their victims.

    Loyalism, I believe, creates a situation where there's a permanent few battalions of men conditioned as per Police Battalion 101 - but they won't be going "home" - they permanently reside beside the communities they deem Untermensch.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Brandon - yet it is hard to describe pro-choice, pro-LGBT, anti-clericalism to the degree to which they all exist as anything other than progressive.

      Some on the Left have assumed the position of regarding it as an undifferentiated entity and share the view of progressive loyalism as a concept which is an oxymoron. I find it a singular approach which tries to fit everything into a one size fits all model.

      Conversely, some republicans have identified what they see as a progressive strain.

      The left wing unionist but not left wing loyalist is a difficult one as it presupposes a significant difference between loyalism and unionism which I am not sure is as real as is sometimes thought. I have never seen it convincingly set out where unionism ends and loyalism begins.

      I think Bill Rolston and Ronnie Munck in their book on the ODR riots identified a progressive strain within loyalism but concluded it could so easily coexist with sectarianism.

      Browning's book for me demonstrates what ordinary men are capable of given the circumstances. Many of them were from normal backgrounds with little in the way of a great attachment to Nazism but managed to become the most enthusiastic of Nazi killers.

      I think this type of characterisation is what brought Browning into conflict with Daniel Goldhagen who wrote off all of German society as Hitler's willing executioners.

      I imagine this type of debate goes on within the
      loyalist community. It might just seem ironic that it takes place in the open on a blog that is anything but loyalist.

      Delete
  15. AM
    On that we will have to disagree. The Kells murderers planned to kill in a completely random way, call a prod cab firm and stiff whoever arrives. A man's life ended for fuck all. If that had been live on TV, like the corporal murders, it would have had worldwide TV coverage. It takes a special type of evil to do what they did. Brandon said in his piece that I focused on the 'alleged' republican murder rather than the abuse of the children. That is because, in my opinion, the murder was the most evil of the events, and neither of you have convinced me otherwise. Though I sympathise with your opinion, the abuse was horrifying.

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    Replies
    1. Peter - I don't mind being disagreed with. It is par for the course.

      Delete
  16. AM

    the most unspeakable acts of evil carried out by Lenny Murphy's 'Loyalist' gang ... can never be forgotten nor forgiven
    The debauchery of the 'Romper Rooms', the spraying of little girls with piss are emblematic of a sick, dysfunctional, counter-democratic & supremacist culture

    Calling them cunts won't do much to solve the problem I'll grant but drawing attention to the nested fabric of the PUL system puts the spotlight to where it rightfully belongs

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    Replies
    1. Henry Joy - they were war crimes and Murphy a war criminal.

      Brandon has also drawn attention to a much overlooked phenomenon where people were butchered to death on the Shankill by republicans. Robert McCartney was romper roomed and knifed to death. Two of those involved in romper rooming and butchering Margaret Wright were shot dead by loyalists after it.

      Jim Prior in his autobiography said there was a particular depravity to loyalist violence which was unique to loyalism.

      None of this is in dispute.

      We are simply trying to better understand the composition of loyalism: is it a coat of many colours or just one?

      It would be a fool who would deny the supremacist culture within loyalism. Yet supremacist cultures alone are insufficient to explain barbarism. How else do we explain the mass killing of Israeli children by Palestinian bombers? In that conflict the supremacists were the Israelis yet those they sought to reign supreme over were quite capable of atrocity.

      Delete
    2. The tension between forces of chaos and the forces of order are inevitable and permanent
      That's the way of the world
      Always has been and always will be

      And the beast resides within us all
      The best we can do is to become wholly men
      Acknowledge the potential Mother Teresa or the Francis of Assisi within
      And acknowledge the potential Hitler that resides there too

      PUL culture is a nested structure
      It gets whatever strength it has from its interdependent multi layering
      Which is still maintained because it seems to make sense to many
      Though that level is diminishing as people like Peter reach a greater level of understanding
      With Brexit, Covid 19, fracturing of relationships within the 'United Kingdom' and fuck knows what else the maintenance of previous nested structures may no longer make sense to many without any rise in levels of consciousness

      Delete
  17. "Brandon - yet it is hard to describe pro-choice, pro-LGBT, anti-clericalism to the degree to which they all exist as anything other than progressive."

    This is true - but failing to respect the fundamental rights of half of a population, along with cloying support for Monarchy, a total lack of historical reflection, and a attachment to "exceptionalism" render accurate classification almost impossible. But then again, they don't owe us an easy classification, and one could apply the same logic to Sinn Fein when they enthusiastically supported/excused kneecapping fairly petty criminals and killing those suspected of other activities.

    "I think this type of characterisation is what brought Browning into conflict with Daniel Goldhagen who wrote off all of German society as Hitler's willing executioners."

    I haven't read Goldhagen's work, but read about the dispute. I felt that Browning's study was nuanced and considered and, perhaps unfairly, dismissed Goldhagen's point of view.

    Europe had a severe anti-Semitism issue long before the Nazis came to power. The pogroms in Ukraine, Lithuania and elsewhere by local people against their Jewish neighbours, whilst facilitated by the Nazis, show that the phenomenon wasn't Germany's alone.

    As an aside, I believe that Europe at the moment has had by now a few decades of increasing Islamophobia. It is a source of worry.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. @ Peter, @ AM

    Peter, you make an interesting point, and one that has caused me to pause and reflect. Taking a life is the ultimate crime. But I agree with AM that torturing someone, particularly for sadistic pleasure, is more evil.

    This, then, raises quite a moral dilemma. The men who committed the act of murder were shot through the knees, ankles and elbows for doing so. In other words, they were tortured for the crime of murder.

    Many people would believe that the murderers of Trevor Kells deserved to be "six-packed" - though I'm sure that many more would have preferred that they were tried, convicted and sent to prison.

    But I don't think anyone would have wanted the murderers' daughters to have urine and rocks thrown at them as they walked to school.

    "We are simply trying to better understand the composition of loyalism: is it a coat of many colours or just one?"

    The pathology of loyalism is, to develop your metaphor, that all those who wear that coat will use it to cover-up the crimes of their degenerates - so long as those victimised by said degenerates are Catholics.

    I remember an Orange Order spokesman, when asked questions about two Brethren convicted of possessing sub-machines in the early 2000s, responded by saying "them two boys have been through enough already."

    Regarding knife murders by republicans, in Political Murder in Northern Ireland, a republican said that the torture murder of Samuel White in December 1972 was to say to loyalists "what you can do, we can do". When I was researching my piece, I accessed contemporaneous newspapers. Men (and some women) who endured the torment of ending their lives in the company of sadists intent of having them suffer a prolonged and agonising death merited very little in the way of press coverage. I found perhaps three short articles about Mr White, and about the same again about Thomas Madden, whose final hours have haunted me since I first read about them.

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    Replies
    1. all those who wear that coat will use it to cover-up the crimes of their degenerates - so long as those victimised by said degenerates are Catholics.

      A lot of the Shankill Butchers victims were Protestants. I think Bates lost his life in retaliation for having killed a Protestant.

      Moreover, the same phenomenon is at play on the republican side - IRA involvement in Kingsmill or Joanne Mathers is still covered up. The coat is worn not just by loyalists.

      Delete
  20. This suggests something of a dual consciousness, much like Rolston and Munck seemed to identify. Progressive elements within the British Labour Party do not make an issue of the monarchy.

    They do reflect historically - maybe too much - but in a wholly different way from us.

    It is not simply loyalism - in as far as we can pin it down - that denies half the population fundamental rights. Political unionism does that.

    They don't owe us an easy classification which make an easy classification difficult.

    I actually loved Goldhagen's book but disagreed with its core contention.

    I think Browning was on the right side of the argument as was Norman Finkelstein. The latter really took it to task.

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  21. Loyalism is not a one size fits all box that you can shoehorn all of us into. The more politically minded of us including our youth are far more left leaning in outlook, and these days have no sense of supremacy over others. Hell, given the sheer distrust ingrained in us of the UK Gov we grew up feeling our back was against the wall, surrounded by enemies everywhere.

    Where Unionism and Loyalist differ slightly is Unionism wants the Union maintained above all and Loyalism is loyal to the Ulster Identity.

    The problem Loyalism has (among a plethora) is an inability to seperate itself from the likes of the OO, the Bands and various old fart clubs holding onto the past. I've no time for them, and neither do several senior loyalists and the young ones coming through. It'll be interesting to see if the youth take the progressive left leaning strain and make inroads on the Duppers patch in the future, and speed the day.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed Steve
      Its not a one size fits all
      Loyalism is but one part of a nested structure
      The totality of that structure is 'PUL'
      Whatever degree of stability it retains is dependent on it's nestedness
      All parties to that structure are closely watching the seismograph. The wobble is already happening

      The notional distinction you make between Loyalism and Unionism is alas passé
      The UDI boat has left the dock and is never coming back

      Its way beyond time that 'PUL' took a long hard look at itself
      And set some realistic and achievable goal for itself
      Realistic, achievable and relevant to 21st century life

      Delete
    2. A useful distinction although you acknowledge it as minimal. But the difference is not enough to allow an insistence that loyalism is supremacist in a way that unionism is not.

      Delete
    3. AM,

      Well I'm a Loyalist and certainly don't feel superior! LOL

      Delete
    4. HJ,

      A UDI is not even a thought bubble. There's a strand of thought within Loyalism which is open to greater respectful relations within the Island. Just makes sense.

      Delete
    5. Steve says

      ' There's a strand of thought within Loyalism which is open to greater respectful relations within the Island. Just makes sense.'

      And I repeat from my earlier comment

      "Though that level is diminishing as people like Peter reach a greater level of understanding
      With Brexit, Covid 19, fracturing of relationships within the 'United Kingdom' and fuck knows what else the maintenance of previous nested structures may no longer make sense to many without any rise in levels of consciousness"

      No great uplift in the level of understanding but perhaps a visceral reaction letting ye know ye can't act the cunt for much longer

      Enlightened self-interest I'd say
      But hey there's nothing to be gained in not allowing you cunts a 'dignified retreat'

      Delete
    6. HJ,

      I've never 'acted the cunt', it's just not in my nature.

      Delete
    7. Steve says

      " ... it's just not in my nature"

      As I replied above to AM

      'And the beast resides within us all
      The best we can do is to become wholly men
      Acknowledge the potential Mother Teresa or the Francis of Assisi within
      And acknowledge the potential Hitler that resides there too'

      Delete
  22. @ Steve R

    "As I point out, 1922 is irrelevant. I'd say the Glenbyrn residents were unaware of it to boot."

    It's completely relevant, because it demonstrates that loyalism has deliberately targeted children before, for no other reason than their perceived tribal alliance. It is 100% relevant because you are saying that loyalists attacked children because of what republicans did and I am saying that loyalists attacked children because of the subculture of loyalism. You're attempting to deflect. It isn't working.

    "If that was the case why not anytime after 1969? Why just after the Kells murder?"

    If the murder of a taxi driver was the catalyst for months of publicised child abuse, why didn't it happen after the murder of William Thompson in 1989? Or, why didn't the CRN community brutalise Protestant schoolchildren after the murder of six Catholic taxi-drivers in 1991 alone?

    I have already said why I think Catholic schoolchildren were targeted in 01/02. Loyalist ceasefires were in place, and the UDA/UVF seemed unable to engage in random sectarian murder. I believe that the murder of Kells, and loyalist inability to respond with murder, might have added to the humiliation that loyalists felt at that time. But I believe that the sight of Catholic parents with Catholic children walking through "their" streets made loyalists burn with a sense of humiliating and injustice. Contemporaneous news reports link the abuse of schoolgirls with a sense that Protestants were being squeezed out of Ardoyne.

    Reducing what happened to the murder of Kells is neat cause/effect, but it just isn't anything close to the truth.

    "You haven't been here long Brandon have you? I'm the first to stick the boot into the Duppers or other Loyalists if they come off with shite or revisionism."

    OK, so you were told by people that they were abusing schoolgirls because of the murder of Kells. And then you make that point here, in a discussion that originated about whether or not the UVF would have attacked a Catholic primary school following Kingsmill. And then you dispute that simple sectarian hatred caused the abuse at Holy Cross, and you steadfasting hold to that position.

    That smacks of revisionism to me. I used Weaver Street as an example because the loyalists who did that would have had their own version of provocation.

    So let me ask you directly: why has loyalism fostered a culture that allows adults to abuse children without meaningful censure from within that community? And what is more important: examining that phenomena, or seeking to detail the "provocations" that "led" to loyalism attacking children?

    I'm not trying to provoke a slanging match. I wholeheartedly believe that your attitude to this is part of the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What? It wasn't about the kids it was about their parents and the actions thereof. Not sure why you can't see this?

    They'd been under seige for that long, Kells gets stiffed then some of the parents (the ones who were known Provos) made overt and public displays of intimidation.

    Your concerted effort at victimhood nothwithstanding. Pointless trying to engage with you as you are seemingly dismissing any views but your own.

    How can I be revisionist when I have stated it was wrong and abhorrent regardless?

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Steve R

    "What? It wasn't about the kids it was about their parents and the actions thereof. Not sure why you can't see this?"

    I've written about the perpetrators of the abuse - the loyalists. You seem incapable of doing the same thing, beyond saying that they were provoked into it.

    You say:

    "How can I be revisionist when I have stated it was wrong and abhorrent regardless?"

    And then you say:

    "They'd been under seige for that long, Kells gets stiffed then some of the parents (the ones who were known Provos) made overt and public displays of intimidation."

    What you did there is exactly what I am talking about.

    Let's break it down. You claim those who abused the schoolgirls had been "under siege" (you didn't specify by whom, for how long, on what way), then Kells was murdered, and then some republicans made overt and public displays of intimidation.

    Assuming that all of this is true, and I don't accept that, where is the link to throwing piss and rocks, and hurling sexualised and sectarian abuse at schoolgirls?

    What I am asking you, and what you are consistently failing to explain, is how loyalism fostered a subculture where grown men and women could abuse schoolgirls day in, day our, for months, and for that action to be excused by their host community, from their local MP on down.

    Some acts are so "abhorrent and wrong" that trying to attribute blame outside of the perpetrators is to provide justification.

    Darkley was wrong. Kingsmill was wrong. Knifing men on their way home in Forthriver Estate was wrong. Torturing and killing Samuel White and Fred Davis was wrong. Killing Jean McConville was a crime of extreme horror, and wrong.

    What you are doing is the equivalent of this:

    "The Kingsmill massacre? Yeah, that was wrong. But it was the UVF that provoked the IRA into doing it. They set a trap - they massacred the Reavey brothers, and the O'Dowd brothers, and the IRA took the bait. What were the Kingsmill workers doing, driving through South Armagh? And one of them was a former B-Special. It was a provocation. I'm not saying that Kingsmill wasn't wrong. It was wrong. But you have to look at the context. If it was simple sectarianism, they could have wiped those men out at any time."

    Do you view Kingsmill in that way?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "What? It wasn't about the kids it was about their parents and the actions thereof. Not sure why you can't see this?"

      "I've written about the perpetrators of the abuse - the loyalists. You seem incapable of doing the same thing, beyond saying that they were provoked into it."

      Because you are mistaken in believing it was about the schoolgirls, it wasn't, no matter how many times you try to insinuate it was by using the term 'abuse'.

      "Let's break it down. You claim those who abused the schoolgirls had been "under siege" (you didn't specify by whom, for how long, on what way), then Kells was murdered, and then some republicans made overt and public displays of intimidation."

      Ask the residents of Glenbyrn about access to the Ardoyne shops or kids playgrounds, or the nightly bricking and wrecking of cars they suffered in the years before Holy Cross kicked off. Or how about the fact that a once mixed area suddenly became a cold house for Prods with many of them being driven out in their own opinion.

      "Assuming that all of this is true, and I don't accept that, where is the link to throwing piss and rocks, and hurling sexualised and sectarian abuse at schoolgirls?"

      Whether you accept it or not, it's the reality, and again, the kids were not the target.

      "What I am asking you, and what you are consistently failing to explain, is how loyalism fostered a subculture where grown men and women could abuse schoolgirls day in, day our, for months, and for that action to be excused by their host community, from their local MP on down."

      The kids were not the target. I've repeated myself many times now.

      Kingsmill? Well, yes, I view that as a secterian conflict too.

      Let me ask you this Brandon, if we are on the subject of child abuse as you are seemingly so desperate to label the residents of Glenbyrn as perpertrators of, how do you feel about the sheer number of Republican Child Rapists who were sheltered and moved to different areas to abuse again scot free?

      From the top down such as Gerry Adams Snr, Liam Adams, Marty Morris, Seamus Marley, Ruby Davidson, Briege Meehan, Michael Marron and that's just some of the 27 + republicans that Adams himself said were child rapists that they moved into the Republic rather than face justice. (AM- these names are in the public domain and previously charged and sentenced for these crimes.)

      What is it about Republican culture that fostered and sheltered so many Child rapists?





      Delete
    2. Think you are in a minority of one here Steve - it was the kids that were targeted - people screaming into the faces of four year olds "fenian bastards."

      Delete
    3. AM,

      On this issue undoubtably. We'll just have to disagree as neither of us will shift from our viewpoint. Not the end of the world.

      Delete
    4. I'm fine with people holding to what they believe but when there is more evidence of a flat earth ...

      Delete
    5. "Think you are in a minority of one here Steve - it was the kids that were targeted - people screaming into the faces of four year olds "fenian bastards."

      Were the four year olds walking by themselves to school through a riot?

      Delete
    6. The children of Józefów weere walking with their parents as well. They were targeted for murder and no one yet has said they were not. Yet here we have you, a supposedly enlightened loyalist, trying to deny that the children at Holy Cross were targeted. When adult men bend down to scream into the faces of four year olds, "fenian bastard" how else do we describe it?

      Delete
    7. "When adult men bend down to scream into the faces of four year olds, "fenian bastard" how else do we describe it?"

      I've never seen video or footage of that, if you can post one I'll reconsider my position.

      Delete
    8. This Hate We Shall Maintain written the day after the hate attack refers to footage

      Delete
  25. Was Kells involved in the murder of a teenager and that was why he was targeted? Just asking.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @ Steve R

    "Whether you accept it or not, it's the reality, and again, the kids were not the target."

    OK, for the purposes of this discussion, I'll accept it, and then pose you a variation of the question I have previously asked you:

    What is it within loyalism that facilitates, excuses, and covers for an aggressive campaign of sectarian abuse against Catholic civilians walking their children to school? Accepting your assertion that the children "weren't the target" they were still victimised by loyalists. The end result isn't any different if the kids weren't the overt target - they were considered expendable by loyalists.

    It is you, not I, that uses the term "Glenbryn residents" - I am talking about loyalists. I'm quite sure many within that community wanted nothing more than the non-targeted schoolgirls to be left alone.

    Maybe it might help you to consider it like this. The IRA made a calculated decision that killing some children was worth it to murder the Queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten. Even when I had firm republican convictions, I thought that blowing up that boat with children on board was a war-crime: pure and simple. No mitigation, no looking at the context: it was murdering children. It was a disgusting and despicable act.

    For the record, I'm not remotely interested in getting into a slanging match. I'm interested in understanding loyalism. Whether you like it or not, you are conforming to an archetype that I believe exists within loyalism, and seeps into unionism.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "What is it within loyalism that facilitates, excuses, and covers for an aggressive campaign of sectarian abuse against Catholic civilians walking their children to school?"

    Fear and sectaranism.

    "It is you, not I, that uses the term "Glenbryn residents" - I am talking about loyalists. I'm quite sure many within that community wanted nothing more than the non-targeted schoolgirls to be left alone."

    Ah, my bad, I thought we were talking solely about Holy Cross. The vast majority of ordinary decent people among the residents wanted no part of it as you point out.

    "Whether you like it or not, you are conforming to an archetype that I believe exists within loyalism, and seeps into unionism."

    Perhaps, but I am far more ready than most to acknowledge our wrongs and try to make amends. We've thrown too much shite to not be covered in it ourselves. By the by, I'm 1/4 Catholic, married to a Catholic who's kids are Catholic.

    How's that for an archetype?

    ReplyDelete
  28. HJ,

    "'And the beast resides within us all
    The best we can do is to become wholly men
    Acknowledge the potential Mother Teresa or the Francis of Assisi within
    And acknowledge the potential Hitler that resides there too"

    Mother Theresa was a cunt and I've always been baffled by beatification as it's literally that first step in catholicism in it's worship of the dead, but I take your point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve

      I have a buddy who worked with her in Calcutta
      By his account she was a right tough cookie
      If I remember correctly I read somewhere that the 'black dog' shadowed her quite a bit too

      (Bit of metaphorical licence taken alright but appreciate that you were able to take my point)

      Delete
  29. I no longer recall if there was a video although I remember writing the following which ended on the matter. I do recall an English journalist telling me he witnessed it which is what I probably went on. He was neither a parent nor a child attacker so had no dog in the fight. I see Dead People If it is true I am sure the children will confirm it for you. You didn't need video evidence to buy into the claim that parents were taking car numbers down. You just chose to deny the hate in front of our eyes. That is a problem for you, not me.

    One of the warming things is that without doubt those children attacked by the hate mob came of age and many without doubt voted John Finucane in as their MP.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link-back to 'I see Dead People'

      Great piece of penmanship ... vicariously spent the afternoon with Fírinne and yourself

      Delete
    2. Either with or without a photo or video I condemn it, but that's what I was told by the residents. Will never be more than hearsay on both our parts without us witnessing it ourselves.

      When did I deny the hate? I stated above that fear leads to hate.

      Finucane? Never thought you'd think a vote for the Shinners as a 'warming' thing Anthony, and lets be honest, the Shinners are as sectarian as they come.

      Delete
    3. Steve - you condemn it while not identifying the problem of hatred against children - in fact you deny it.
      We will have the testimony of the tormented children as the non-hearsay evidence much as we had it from children against the clerics who abused them. The clerics will of course say they were seduced and that it not rape but consensual. And I am sure some will buy into it.
      I think the victory for Finucane was a positive thing. I don't allow my own prejudices blind me to what is progressive - when the DUP favour a woman's right to choose and marriage equality I will welcome that too. Wouldn't you?
      JF was anti-Brexit; he took the seat from a party so steeped in corruption and nepotism that it has been described as Northern Fianna Fail, and has made his party look clean by comparison; the huge symbolic importance of the son of a lawyer slain by those in the RUC and UDA colluding, rising to remove a person and party who have long denied the role of the state in these matters; and the fact that he got the votes from a children who walked the gauntlet of hate.

      All reason to welcome his victory.

      Delete
    4. "We will have the testimony of the tormented children as the non-hearsay evidence much as we had it from children against the clerics who abused them. The clerics will of course say they were seduced and that it not rape but consensual. And I am sure some will buy into it."

      I simply don't accept that analogy. Holy Cross was never about the kids. I have never heard one single comment from a resident saying it was. Like I stated earlier, that school was open since 1969 but nothing kicked off untill the sectarian murder of Kells. Why was that?

      Preists raping Children IS about the kids.

      Delete
    5. "I think the victory for Finucane was a positive thing. I don't allow my own prejudices blind me to what is progressive - when the DUP favour a woman's right to choose and marriage equality I will welcome that too. Wouldn't you?"

      Yes, but I'd check outside to see if Hell had frozen over first!

      Delete
    6. Steve - perhaps you do not accept the analogy because it works and is based in the testimony of the child victims. The priest of course, like the hate filled bigot, will say it is not about the kids .. there is always something else. The rest of the world looking on knows what happened much as they knew what happened in Alabama and elsewhere.

      "The Holy Cross was never about kids". What a statement. The Holocaust was never about Jews either, I guess.

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    7. ""The Holy Cross was never about kids". What a statement. The Holocaust was never about Jews either, I guess."

      Godwin's Law Anthony, seriously? You are seriously trying to compare the Nazi's with the residents of Glenbryn?

      I expected more from you. We are not some demonic evil force who arbitrarily attack children and I note none of you have responded to my question why, if it was about the kids they were left alone from 1969 up until the sectarian Kells murder.

      Delete
    8. No. I did not compare the thugs at the Holy Cross with the Nazis. I remarked on the ability of people to deny what is in front of their eyes.
      Nobody accused you of anything in relation to Holy Cross other than being in a state of denial. Those who vented hate on the children were evil.
      Brandon dealt with your point about timing in another discussion when he referred to the type of simmering hatred that allows that type of evil outburst to take place.
      Like many things in life - the opportunity presented itself and hate lined itself up in the street and leapt at the chance. Now it is an indelible stain on the history of loyalism (much as the Shankill butchers left their own stain).

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  30. A long time ago Henry Joy - now she lives in Dublin and knows the city as well as I knew Belfast. Time moves very quick

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  31. @ Steve R

    I've compiled a quick list of links with video evidence of loyalists abusing schoolgirls.

    I'm genuinely curious to know how you feel having watched this?

    Blowing whistles, sounding claxons:

    Billy Hutchinson "This [loyalist] community has been abused."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwXCeJAGJbY

    News report: "The parents and children were spat at and abused ... the police actions against the loyalists did reduce the number of missiles thrown at the children"

    Found someone who agrees with you, Steve R! - 

    "[resident] The parents from the Holy Cross and the IRA are using their children as cover to attack the people in this area"

    Quickly debunked by a local clergyman though "No, it is not what's happening, but perception is very important."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEIX-I_Y8qw

    Actual scenes of abuse hurled at schoolkids here, and then a loyalist saying "I don't know anything about abuse being hurled at 4 year old girls - 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_ogsDRVDx4

    Slow clapping, throwing rocks, then a blast bomb.

    Billy Hutchinson "This is people Hell bent on creating trouble ... and I am ashamed to call myself a loyalist (though he gave a typically weak follow-up statement)"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeDcqvFz3l4&t=93s

    And more here, including a report of bottles being thrown into the school:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDl6bTAU0FY

    The PSNI reported 1706 sectarian incidents in Belfast in 2001.  I wonder how many the parents of Holy Cross schoolchildren were responsible for?   

    I wonder how many loyalists were responsible for?

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  32. "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwXCeJAGJbY"

    Backs turned and blowing whistles. Hardly very threatening.

    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEIX-I_Y8qw"

    Only violence here was the cops beating the residents back, and who knows the context of the question put to that CoI clergyman? Quite obviously edited for maximum effect. But thanks for showing exactly what I said the residents felt in Glenbryn.

    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEIX-I_Y8qw"

    That abuse was aimed at the parents, and all I can see is the cops pushing the residents back and argy bargy.

    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEIX-I_Y8qw"

    His opinion is his own. More footage of the parents walking the kids up in a calm manner with police escort and the residents not saying anything to the kids.

    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEIX-I_Y8qw'

    Literally NONE of that was aimed at the kids but at the parents and there's good footage in their of the residents complaining of previous actions of some of the parents when the cops weren't there.

    "The PSNI reported 1706 sectarian incidents in Belfast in 2001. I wonder how many the parents of Holy Cross schoolchildren were responsible for? "

    How many sectarian MURDERS were the parents of one of the children responsible for I wonder?









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  33. @ Steve R

    Here's where I answered your question earlier. I'm also interested in your thoughts on seeing actual video footage of the schoolchildren being abused, provided in my previous comment.

    "I have already said why I think Catholic schoolchildren were targeted in 01/02. Loyalist ceasefires were in place, and the UDA/UVF seemed unable to engage in random sectarian murder. I believe that the murder of Kells, and loyalist inability to respond with murder, might have added to the humiliation that loyalists felt at that time. But I believe that the sight of Catholic parents with Catholic children walking through "their" streets made loyalists burn with a sense of humiliating and injustice. Contemporaneous news reports link the abuse of schoolgirls with a sense that Protestants were being squeezed out of Ardoyne."

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    Replies
    1. Well, that's just incorrect. The UDA or UVF would have no qualms about retaliating for the sectarian murder of Kells.

      Humiliation wasn't part of it. As you so helpfully provided the youtube link to, you can even hear what was the underlaying sentiment was direct from a Glenbyrn resident.

      She said the Provos had them tortured for years up there. Obviously the Kells sectarian murder was the straw that broke the camels back, coupled with antagonistic behaviour by the parents while they were walking through.

      Just to be 100% crystal clear, it was the behaviour of some of the parents while walking their kids to school that pushed them over the edge.

      Well, think we've established we will never convince each other of the cause or result of this trouble so I'll make this my last comment on it although I did a lengthy response to Brandon's post above but it was not posted for some reason.

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    2. Steve - that's a strange one - sometimes they don't come through because of a signal glitch, even for a second, but it is rare. If they get through we always get a blogger email alert and nothing on this occasion. I haven't looked at the spam folder but there is no reason for your comment to go there. Do you have a copy of it? Repost if you do.

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    3. Steve - there was one from October 19 in spam and I just uploaded it. Is that the same one? If that happens in let me know. I tend never to look at the spam folder. No idea why it went to spam.

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