Béal Feirste (Belfast)

The Orange Order – Enough Is Enough

Margaret Thatcher touring the British Occupied North of Ireland in 1981 wearing a beret of the UDR, an infamous British Army militia responsible for scores of terrorist attacks during the 1970s, '80s and '90s

Then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher touring the Occupied North of Ireland in 1981 wearing a beret of the UDR, an infamous British Army militia whose members were responsible for scores of terrorist attacks during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s

From 1975 to 1982 a British terrorist faction nicknamed the “Shankhill Butchers”, part of the militant UVF, carried out a series of attacks designed to instil terror in the Irish Nationalist community of Belfast, randomly targeting men, women and children living in isolated enclaves around the city. Like Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the intercommunal conflict the Unionist grouping simply didn’t kill their victims. Armed with guns, explosives, axes and butchers knives they kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, hacked the limbs and cut the throats of those they encountered, often using various pubs and bars around the city to carry out their murderous activities (sometimes with the full knowledge of staff and customers). Fuelled by alcohol and drugs they boasted of the time it took to slay their captives or of how many they had killed that week, from ten year-old Kevin McMenamin to forty-eight year Marie McGrattan. Existing in the twilight world of British colonial culture on the island of Ireland, nationalism and religion fused together, they came to represent all that was evil on the ideological fringes of Unionism. Eventually their frenzied behaviour and ancillary criminal ways became too much for the British authorities and paramilitary police and they were brought to heel, arrests and assassinations (both internally and by Irish Republicans) breaking the back of their amorphous organisation.

One of their number was Eddie McIlwaine, a serving British soldier with the infamous Ulster Defence Regiment, who helped the group secure weapons, intelligence information and safe passage through British security cordons and checkpoints (though he was not the only one to do so). He was convicted in 1979 of kidnapping, assault and possession of weapons, the least of the charges that could have been brought against him. His only admitted victim was Gerard McLaverty, a young man the gang grabbed off the street while posing as police officers, beat, strangled and slashed with a knife before leaving for dead. Back then McIlwaine was an acknowledged psychopath, a dangerous soldier-cum-terrorist addicted to inflicting human suffering. Today he is an honoured and all-but venerated member of the Orange Order, the anti-Catholic and anti-Irish fraternity devoted to fundamentalist Protestantism and Britishness. From the Belfast Telegraph newspaper:

“One of the Shankill Butchers stewarded an Orange Order parade past a Catholic church in Belfast last weekend.

Eddie McIlwaine was filmed by Carrick Hill residents ushering members of the loyal orders past St Patrick’s on Donegall Street on the Twelfth.

McIlwaine was jailed for eight years in 1979 for being part of the Shankill Butchers gang that killed 19 Catholics and Protestants.

Last year Sunday Life pictured him parading through east Belfast during the UVF’s 100th anniversary parade.

He wore a UVF armband emblazoned with the words ‘UVF West Belfast 1’, and a medal understood to signify time spent in prison.

McIlwaine’s involvement with the Orange Order was first revealed a decade ago when he was pictured carrying a banner commemorating UVF killer Brian Robinson at the controversial Whiterock parade.

A spokesman for the Orange Order defended the Shankill Butcher’s role in the organisation, saying: “I can confirm that Eddie McIlwaine is a member of that lodge and in good standing…

“As long as Mr McIlwaine upholds the principle of the institution and has paid his debt to society he has done nothing wrong.””

Politicians, journalists and observers sometimes claim a moral equivalence between the actions of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army, the British Occupation Forces and the British Terror Factions during the conflict in the north-east of Ireland and beyond. They argument goes that they all were equally guilty of militarism and violence. This is simply untrue. While the IRA can be justifiably criticised and condemned for many of its actions, up to and including war crimes, more often than not it exercised restraint. As dreadful as the war was it could have been far worse had the IRA chosen to act entirely outside the norms of western European behaviour at the end of the 20th century (or what the communities who supported it were willing to tolerate). That is not to negate the suffering caused by the Republican Army, the many innocent victims both direct and indirect left by its actions. The litany of its barbarisms, deliberate or otherwise, is lengthy and bring no credit to anyone. The war was not a clean one. Heroes are few and far between.

However the terrorist gangs organised and functioning under the aegis of the British state, acknowledged or otherwise, are a different matter. It was these factions which embraced as a weapon of war the policy of “ethnic cleansing” as the ultimate solution – or fallback – to the conflict and the defeat of their enemy. Acting as the cutting edge of Britain’s counter-insurgency strategy they engaged not armed opponents, guerrilla fighters or their commanders, but ordinary Irish men, women and children.

35% of all those killed by the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army were civilians.

51% of all those killed by the British Occupation Forces were civilians.

85% of all those killed by the British terror factions were civilians.

When the Orange Order permits the membership of someone like Eddie McIlwaine, a literal butcher of human beings, when it elevates him to a position of authority in its organisation, however slight, it sends a message to the people of Ireland as a whole. It is the same message that ISIS, the would-be Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, sends to Shia Moslems and Arab Christians or Israel sends to the Palestinians of Gaza: you and yours are unhumans.

About these ads

Name The Kincora Abusers

 

The bizarre sight of an Israeli flag in a British Unionist area of Belfast flying above a British terrorist banner and Britain’s national flag, Ireland

For the first time an allegation long made in private has been stated in public: a senior member of the largest political party representing the British Unionist community in the north-east of Ireland and a current minister in the regional executive in Belfast was once an associate of Tara, a would-be British terrorist grouping founded in the 1960s by the notorious paedophile, Orange Order chaplain and British-Israelite occultist William McGrath. The latter individual is indelibly linked with the Kincora Boys’ Home Scandal, the Belfast care home where vulnerable children were “ritually” abused by McGrath and suspected members of Britain’s political establishment flown in for the occasion, not to mention others linked with the paramilitary police, armed forces, intelligence services and various militant factions.

McGrath’s organisation seems to have been part of a wider if loosely organised network of paedophiles in Britain from the 1950s to ‘90s whose more notable members have become familiar names in the controversies of recent months. He is also closely linked with the inception of the “Ulster-Scots” völkisch movement, in particular those who believe in a catalogue of pseudo-historical theories linking the Unionist community in Ireland with the ancient Pictish peoples of eastern Scotland and the Lost Tribes of Israel. If all this sounds very Dan Brown I suggest that you employ Google or Bing for yourself to discover more. The truth is more fantastical – and worrying – than any novel. Religious fundamentalism meets ultranationalism with hefty doses of colonial racism and fringe academia thrown in. And in this case made subservient to the physical and sexual exploitation of children.

The Irish and British media will remain silent on this one. But for how long?

Britain’s Legacy In Ireland, 800 Years In The Making

A British Unionist and Orange Order bonfire decorated with sectarian and racist messages, Ireland, July 2014

A British Unionist and Orange Order bonfire decorated with sectarian and racist messages, Ireland, July 2014

Pictured above is an “Eleventh Night” bonfire, one of many dozens erected across the north-east of Ireland by usually adolescent members of the British Unionist minority to commemorate a series of 17th century Protestant British victories over Catholic British and Irish opponents during localised conflicts in the pan-european War of the Grand Alliance. In Ireland the primary struggle, known as Cogadh an Dá Rí or “War of the Two Kings”, reasserted Britain’s colonial rule over the island nation and the association of militant Protestant fundamentalism with Britishness. As is now the (controversial) tradition in some districts the bonfire is “decorated” with a number of sectarian, racist and homophobic symbols and slogans aimed at those deemed outside or anathema to British ethno-national culture and identity.

Starting from the top of the pyre we have:

A number of Irish flags, both current and historical, including the national flag of Ireland (commonly called the Tricolour), the Irish Harp flag (superseded by the Tricolour) and the Gal Gréine or Irish “Sunburst” banner, a symbol derived from indigenous literature.

A Palestinian flag (some British Unionists in Ireland believe in the pseudo-historical and messianic myth that their community or “folk” is descended from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel while others identify with contemporary  Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories).

A Rainbow or Gay/LGBT Pride flag, homosexuality and gender-realingment being widely viewed as a biblical abominations by Protestant fundamentalists amongst the Unionist minority.

Various banners painted with political acronyms and slogans:

Keep Antrim Tidy = KAT = Kill All Taigs “Kill All Irish/Catholics”

We’re Not Racist We Just Don’t Like Cotton-Picking Niggers / We’re Not Racist, Just Don’t Like Niggers

I Ran Away = IRA = Irish Republican Army

[With thanks to babeufinsiberia]

 

 

The Calm Before The Storm

British Unionist and Orange Order supporters light huge bonfires across Belfast, Ireland’s second city, 2014 (Íomhá: Roghnú Glas)

The infamous Ku Klux Klan had – and probably still has – burning crosses. The equally infamous Orange Order has burning bonfires. The function of both is the same: celebration, defiance, intimidation. With “only” three ethnically motivated stabbings, scattered and desultory rioting, a handful of inter-communal clashes, minimal damage to property, shorter than previous road and street closures or diversions, several arrests and no police injuries it has been what is generally viewed as a “good” July 11th and 12th. The increased number and size of bonfires, complete with prominent sectarian and racist messages and effigies targeting Irish, Chinese-Irish, Polish-Irish and other communities, is considered a small price to pay. Not to mention the heavy preponderance of flags celebrating the KKK, various British terrorist organisations and British Army units noted for their participation in war crimes here in Ireland.

Last year the Orange Order refused to denounce violent protests by their supporters and the British terror factions dutifully followed suit and brought mayhem onto the streets. This year the Orange Order instructed that there be no violent protests by their supporters and the British terror factions dutifully stayed off the streets. However we are told that there are no links between both…

The view of Fitzjames Horse is the most honest opinion so far.

 

A Sickness At The Heart Of Britishness

The once much-lauded British Unionist militant and notorious paedophile William McGrath photographed in his regalia as a

The once much-lauded British Unionist militant and notorious paedophile William McGrath photographed in his regalia as a “chaplain” of the Orange Order. Throughout the 1970s he procured the “ritualised” abuse of children for suspected members of the British military, police, judiciary, government and aristocracy

As Britain witnesses the revelations of a decades old culture of institutionalised paedophilia and sexual abuse within the heart of the state (seemingly encompassing the BBC, the lower and upper houses of parliament, the judiciary, the police and intelligence services, the “aristocracy”, and past – and possibly current – governments in London) it is worth remembering how the conflict in the north-east of Ireland was exploited to feed the baser vices of the ruling elites in our neighbouring island. The Blether Region, which normally focuses on issues relating to the Irish, Scottish and Scots English languages, has done an exemplary job in reminding us of the squalid nexus of sectarianism, terrorism, money and power as represented by the infmaous Kincora Boys Home Scandal. For ten years the “reverend” William McGrath, a fanatically anti-Catholic member of the Orange Order in Belfast, the founder of a would-be terror gang, a Far Right conspirator, and a believer in the myth of the Lost Tribes of Israel, worked with others in the 1970s to supply a chain of boys and youths for the “ritualised” pleasures of fellow Unionist leaders, members of the British armed forces, the intelligence services, and senior government officials (elected and otherwise). The list of those possibly involved seems to grow with every passing week as more information comes to light, primarily through the efforts of a few honest campaigners in Britain, and now Ireland, with the British news media lagging well behind (you can assume your own reasons for that). The latest post is here and should be read by all those concerned with just how incredibly dirty the “Dirty War” really was. Beyond even the reckoning of most of its protagonists.

When politics and religion, fantasies and ravings, are mixed together this is the result.

A Colony Cannot Be Reformed

A 1960s’ civil rights march in the north-east of Ireland demanding equality in housing, jobs, justice and voting. Decades on little has changed

In case you missed it, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations:

“Press Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing…

From 29 August to 11 September 2013, I undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the invitation of the Government. My visit included various cities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The main objective of my visit was to assess the country’s achievements and challenges in guaranteeing the right to adequate housing and non-discrimination in this context, in accordance with existing international human rights standards. The assessment includes legislation and policy frameworks as well as the consideration of concrete outcomes from those policies, examining how they respond to the housing needs of women, men and children, with a particular focus on those most vulnerable and disenfranchised.

Planning systems reforms are also being considered in Northern Ireland, devolving powers to Local Councils, which will also be territorially redefined. In this context, I want to express my concern at the potential that this decentralization may have for increased sectarianism and discrimination.

… population groups, highlighted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2009, which continue to face inadequate access to affordable housing are Catholics in Northern Ireland, specifically in North Belfast. The current allocation scheme was created to be fair and open, and to allocate accommodation on the basis of meeting the housing need of people. Despite the efforts of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, I remain concerned that full equality has not been achieved yet.”

Nearly five decades on from the eruption of the war in the north-east of Ireland and the causes of the conflict remain as current as ever. Despite the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, despite supposed power-sharing and improvements in civil rights institutionalised discrimination based upon religion and ethnicity remains the dominant feature of the last remnant of the historic British colonial state on our island nation. One cannot reform the unreformable. One can only wipe the slate clean and start again.

The Unionist Caliphate In Ireland

Peter Robinson with an automatic assault rifle

Peter Robinson, the leader of the DUP and power-sharing First Minister in the north-east of Ireland, is caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border with an AK47 automatic assault rifle

The mainstream British Unionist parties in the north-east of Ireland, the governing DUP and out-of-office UUP, have issued a statement condemning yet another ban on the controversial annual march by the anti-Catholic Orange Order in the Ardoyne district of Belfast, and have done so in conjunction with the fundamentalist TUV, and the PUP and UPRG, two political organisations closely associated with the British terror factions. The axis of militant British separatism on this island nation is writ large for the 21st century as it was for the 19th and 20th centuries. Hopefully I’ll never again have to listen to the utter, two-faced hypocrisy of “constitutional” politicos of Unionism when it comes to the use of “violence”.

If (Provisional) Sinn Féin was the political wing of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army in days past then the DUP and UUP are now publicly functioning as the political wings of armed Unionism.

The Dirty Secrets Of A Dirty War Get Even Dirtier

Joan Connolly, a fifty year old Irish mother of eight murdered by British troops during the Ballymurphy Massacre of 1971

Joan Connolly, a fifty year old Irish mother of eight murdered by British troops during the Ballymurphy Massacre of 1971

In the “better late than never” category Britain’s Left-leaning newspaper, the Guardian, has published a special investigation by Ian Cobain into the infamous Ballymurphy Massacre of August 1971. During the course of three days rampaging British troops in an isolated Irish Nationalist enclave on the edge of West Belfast murdered ten civilians, 9 men and boys and one woman, while wounding dozens more. If you are a regular reader of An Sionnach Fionn you will have read my own description of the terrifying events that summer some forty years ago. You will also be aware that the government in Britain has refused to hold an official inquiry into the war crime, largely on the grounds that it would not be in the public interest do so. That would be the British public interest, of course.

“One of the most tragic and controversial episodes of the conflict in Northern Ireland will be relived in a Belfast courtroom on Friday when a preliminary hearing is held into the deaths of 10 people shot dead more than four decades ago.

All 10 were killed in one small neighbourhood of west Belfast over little more than 36 hours in August 1971 during the disturbances that were triggered by the introduction of internment without trial.

Drawing upon hundreds of pages of contemporary witness statements, police reports and pathologists’ records gathered for the inquest, the Guardian has reconstructed the events surrounding the killings.

What emerges is a picture that is complex and confused, but which points to a prolonged killing spree by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment, several months before troops from the same regiment massacred protesters at Derry on Bloody Sunday.

Among the nine men and one woman fatally wounded in the streets around Ballymurphy between the evening of 9 August and the morning of 11 August were a local priest, shot twice while giving the last rites to a man who had also been shot, and a 44-year-old mother of eight, shot in the face.

At least eight of those who died appear to have been shot by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment. A ninth was shot by a soldier from a different regiment, while the 10th was shot by an unidentified sniper, possibly a soldier. Another man died of heart failure, allegedly after being subjected to a mock execution by soldiers.

Unlike on Bloody Sunday, however, no journalists were present, no camera crews captured the events, and there was no international condemnation of the killings.”

Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, killed in the 1989 ambush at Baile an Chláir by an Active Service Unit of the South Armagh Brigade of the Irish Republican Army. His suspected links to British terrorist factions in the north-east of Ireland have gone unreported by both the Irish and British news media

Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, killed in the 1989 ambush at Baile an Chláir by an Active Service Unit of the South Armagh Brigade of the Irish Republican Army. His suspected links to British terrorist factions in the north-east of Ireland have gone unreported by both the Irish and British news media

Meanwhile the Guardian also reports on new revelations surrounding the assassination by British terrorists of Sergeant Joseph Campbell, a paramilitary police officer with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), in 1977. A recent investigation by the Police Ombudsman in the north-east of Ireland has discovered that the planned killing of (the Roman Catholic) Campbell was known before hand by senior commanders in the RUC who did nothing to prevent it. In fact there is considerable suspicion that they permitted the shooting to go ahead in order to protect corrupt and terrorist-supporting men within their own ranks.

“Campbell had been a well-known and respected police officer in the County Antrim community for many years. The shooting took place on the evening of 25 February 1977 and since then his widow and children have campaigned for more information about the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Campbells have always believed their father was murdered by one of the most notorious loyalist paramilitary killers of the Troubles – Robin “The Jackal” Jackson. Jackson was an assassin for the Ulster Volunteer Force, whose targets were mainly Catholics living in the so-called murder triangle of North Armagh and Tyrone.

Since Campbell’s murder there have been allegations that the police officer was shot dead because he discovered links between Jackson and a rogue member of RUC special branch who was organising criminal activities including armed robberies in County Antrim.

The police ombudsman is currently involved in a legal battle with the PSNI over its refusal to allow him access to sensitive historic files on unsolved Troubles crimes.”

If the name of the gunman Robin “The Jackal” Jackson seems familiar to you that is because we discussed him before in relation to the killing of RUC Superintendent Harry Breen in a 1989 ambush by the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army. In a sworn affidavit to a tribunal set up by the government of Ireland an ex-RUC officer-cum-terrorist, Sergeant John Weir, testified that Harry Breen supported the campaign of violence and mayhem by British militants in the mid-Ulster region, led most notably by Jackson. Throughout the 1970s and early ’80s serving and former British police officers and soldiers in the so-called Glenanne Gang staged a series of gun and bomb attacks against the local Irish civilian population in the counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Monaghan and Fermanagh, a region soon dubbed the “Murder Triangle” by the contemporary news media.

The more we uncover the secrets of Britain’s “Dirty War” in Ireland, the dirtier it gets.

The Axis Of British Fundamentalism

A British military-style band affiliated with the Orange Lodge marches through Belfast on July 12th

A British military-style band affiliated with the Orange Lodge marches through Belfast on July 12th

Recently the British journalist Colin Freeman while reporting on the crisis in Iraq for the Daily Telegraph, the establishment newspaper in Britain, made this observation on the reconstituted Shia militias now making their muscular presence felt in the Sunni districts of Baghdad:

“Waving rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs, the convoy of Shia militiamen rolled down the Baghdad street, a 30-vehicle column of vans, pick-ups and battered saloon cars.

Above the roar of their combined engines, they chanted how they were now crushing the “terrorists” of Isis, the Sunni extremists who have seized much of northern Iraq.

Their message is unspoken, but as loud and clear as the chants – any Sunni who is thinking of supporting Isis can expect Shia gunmen at his door.

“Ever since last week, not a day has gone past without them coming down the street, shouting and yelling and waving rifles and pistols,” said Imad Ahmed, a shopkeeper in the Sunni district of Adel in west Baghdad.

“They say they will crush the Isis terrorists and anyone who stands in the way of the Shia, but these guys are nowhere near the frontline. This is just designed to intimidate us.”

Rather like Belfast’s Orange parades, the militiamen have no compunction about driving through neighbourhoods already stained by past sectarian bloodshed.”

There is of course no comparison with what is happening in the Middle East. None whatsoever...

There is of course no comparison with what is happening in the Middle East. None whatsoever…

Apparently the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, an avowedly anti-Catholic and anti-Irish grouping with well documented links by individual members to the British terror factions, objects to this comparison by a representative of the international press. So they have lodged a complaint with the newspaper regulator in Britain. As the veteran British journalist and editor Roy Greenslade rightly points out:

“The complaint is wholly without merit.

Freeman’s analogy was merited because that’s what the Orange institution does and, if not prevented by the Parades Commission, would seek to do more often.

It is an avowedly anti-Catholic organisation that exacerbates tensions by marching through areas in Northern Ireland in which Catholics live.”

Indeed…

Nelson McCausland, The Tea Party Escapee

DUP’s Nelson McCausland

The DUP’s Nelson McCausland is a senior minister in the regional government in the north-east of Ireland. He is also a Unionist or British ultra-nationalist politician and Protestant fundamentalist who believes that his community is descended from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel (Íomhá: Hoboroad)

What other nation in Western Europe would tolerate a senior member of a regional government using his personal blog to publicly list individuals and their home addresses when those persons are at risk of a terrorist attack? Yet that is the very situation we have in Ireland with Nelson McCausland, the minster for social development in the regional assembly at Stormont. McCausland is a Christian fundamentalist, a believer in biblical-literalism and Creationism (meaning the world is several thousand years old – not four billion), and a leading light of the British ultra-nationalists in the DUP and the Catholic-haters of the Orange Order. He – and those like him – are the nearest thing the European Union has to the crazier, evangelical elements of the Tea Party movement in the United States. This includes the minister’s belief that the British Unionist community in Ireland is descended from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel and that the Irish-Scots dialect of English is a separate and ancient language (though presumably not of Hebrew descent. The mythical Picts maybe, though certainly not the historical ones…). As for the man himself he has a dreadful political record on all sorts of issues, from challenging the science of evolution to denying global climate change, from opposing gay rights to blocking Irish language rights. If there is a crank cause out there McCausland is for it, courting controversies in a manner eerily similar to his US counterparts.

Recently the north Belfast politico landed himself in some hot water after he used his eccentric blog, Nelson’s View, to publish a photo of Gary Spedding, a member of the moderate Alliance Party (AP), posing with the Irish national flag during a trip to the UK. The image had been uploaded by Spedding to his own personal Facebook profile and McCausland used a copy of the photo to attack the DUP’s liberal Unionist rivals in the Alliance. This led to the AP activist receiving a number of death threats, some of which may have come from British terrorist sources. However Nelson McCausland has ample form on this score regularly “naming and shaming” those he deems unworthy, often with identifying photographs and hints as to their home addresses. Following the funeral with military honours of Dublin-resident Séamus McLoughlin, a former veteran of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army, he named both the deceased man’s daughter and the area of Belfast in which she lived (I won’t link directly to McCausland’s blog as he is ill-deserving of any web traffic, even incidental). In the post-war north-east of Ireland that is no small thing and certainly not something that is done without knowing the possible dire consequences of the action.

Which begs the question. How on earth can anything, even a supposed “peace process”, justify this Unionist and separatist zealot with his frankly bizarre theocratic beliefs being in a position of authority in a government, even a pantomime local government like that in Stormont?

The Whole Aim Of Newspeak Is To Narrow The Range Of Thought

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.

Colm Keena, the journalist and less-than-sympathetic biographer of Gerry Adams, has an article in the Irish Times newspaper examining the Sinn Féin leader and tangentially the origins of the conflict in the north-east of Ireland. It reads like this:

“Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism. Militant nationalism.

Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus. Virus.

Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers. Young British soldiers.

Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate. Sinn Féin eradicate.”

Insightful, no?

British Unionism, Nationalism In Denial

NR Green (Íomhá: Newsletter)

In a glorious example of the Irish political rhetoric known as “whataboutery” the columnist N.R. Greer takes to the pages of the Newsletter to attack the critics of the sectarianism and racism that is at the heart of the ideology of British Unionism in Ireland (and perhaps inevitably so given the origins of political Unionism in the foreign colonial invasion and exploitation of this island nation). Everyone from Moslem preachers to Chinese-Irish politicians are the problem not those who encourage and electorally prosper from fundamentalist politico-religious hatred as part and parcel of their politics and identity.

“There has been an on-going effort to ensure that Unionists are branded “bigots”, read the online comments section of any local newspaper and you will clearly see that to be the case. That “racist” is now being added to the pot is not a surprise.

The danger is that this relentless campaign to smear Unionists will provoke a backlash. If you stoke up tensions and scream “racist” at people long enough, some of them are eventually going to get fed up with it and lash out.

When this happens the anti-Unionist brigade will of course say “told you so” and admit no complicity in fanning the flames.”

So if the British terror gangs in Ireland start murdering Irish men, women and children again because of their perceived nationality or ethnicity, race or religion, it will be a “backlash” provoked by those in that community protesting at the hatred being directed towards them by the very people who would threaten them with violence? It is the equivalent of an argument blaming a woman for being raped because she publicly protested against the prevalence of rape.

I wonder if some young Moslem-Irish lad foolishly attacked the home of the self-styled evangelical preacher James McConnell would Greer regard that as someone “fed up” with being demonised and blame McConnell for fanning the flames which were brought to his own door?

No, probably not.

The Torture Files

Photo taken by civil rights activists of an Irish civilian tortured by the British military interrogators in the Occupied North of Ireland, 1970s

Photo taken by civil rights activists of an Irish civilian tortured by the British military interrogators in the Occupied North of Ireland, 1970s

So the News and Current Affairs Department of RTÉ, our self-proclaimed “national broadcaster” (no sniggering, please), has suddenly become aware that there were two sides to the conflict that raged in the north-eastern part of our island-nation during the 1970s, ‘80s and 1990s. Yes, the war wasn’t solely caused by Irish Republicans (actually it truly began with British soldiers-turned-terrorists back in 1966) and the British Armed Forces participated in it too (y’know, the same ones we used to shoot at during the War of Independence when they patrolled the streets of Dublin and Cork – and Belfast and Derry). RTÉ’s much-hyped documentary broadcast last night revealed the levels of government-authorised torture inflicted by Britain on Irish citizens living in the fifth of our country retained under the British Occupation following the 1916-21 revolution (y’know, the one that was staged and fought on the streets of Dublin and Cork – and Belfast and Derry). The programme was titled “The Torture Files” and the horrifying stories contained within were presented as if something startlingly new and unbeknown to the people of Ireland (except, y’know, the fifth of our population forced to live under the British Occupation despite having supported the same historic struggle fought on the streets of Dublin and Cork – and Belfast and Derry).

Of course the revelations were anything but new or unbeknown. If fact they were widely reported for decades though you might have missed all that if you had relied on RTÉ for such information any time between 1968 and 1998 (or even 2014!). God be with the days when the apparatchiks of the Workers Party controlled the news and current affairs output at Montrose, when state censorship was second to ideological censorship enforced with an iron fist by a closed coterie of journalists and editors. They all thought the same, they all talked the same. Though of course that is not too hard when most of them were screwing each other too (one way or another). Ah, wine and coke parties in Dublin 4; look at us with our beards, our manifestos, our white lines and our ABBA albums too. Fun, fun, fun in the know-nothing sun (of the empire upon which it never sets… ahem).

Here at An Sionnach Fionn, gadfly of the establishment, such items of historical enquiry have been a regular feature for the last three years. Again and again accusations have been levelled, proof has been offered, yet the critics cry: oh no, that cannot be true, it would simply be too dreadful a vista to contemplate…

Yet it was and is true. All of it.

So here are some select highlights from the campaign for truth waged by one lonely blog against the closed face of Irish media denial:

From Ireland To Iraq – The Same Army, The Same Abusers

Former British Agent Admits Irish Citizens Were Waterboarded

The Murder Machine – The British War In Ireland

Dirty Secrets Of A Dirty War

Pat Finucane – A Victim Of Britain’s State-Sponsored Terrorism In Ireland

Death Squad Britain – The Past That Won’t Stay Hidden

Ulster Resistance – Unapologetic British Terrorism In Ireland

The Truth About Ireland’s British Troubles

Death Squad Britain

Death Squad Killers In The Land Down Under

No Investigation Into A 1971 British War Crime In Ireland

Only A General Amnesty Will Yield The Truth

The Continuity RUC

The RUC, the notorious disbanded forerunner of the PSNI, show their respect for funerals in Ireland by smashing and shooting their way through one. These are the scenes the Continuity RUC would love to have back, hey boys?

The hated RUC, the disbanded forerunner to the PSNI, show their respect for funerals in Ireland by smashing and shooting their way through one. These are the scenes the Continuity RUC would love to have back, hey boys?

In an unprecedented move the Police Ombudsman for the north-east of Ireland, Michael Maguire, is to sue the Chief Constable of the PSNI, the region’s paramilitary police force, over his organisation’s repeated failures to cooperate with enquiries into dozens of killings carried out by British terrorist groupings and others during the 1966-2005 conflict. From an investigation by The Detail:

“NORTHERN Ireland’s Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire is to launch a legal action against Chief Constable Matt Baggott over the failure to provide information on major investigations including killings from the Troubles.

The dramatic move follows long-running complaints over delays in the police supplying of documents and intelligence to investigators reviewing allegations of security force wrongdoing.

The ombudsman is understood to have instructed former Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales Sir Keir Starmer to seek a judicial review of the police conduct.

The police said they had met their legal obligations but had to balance the release of sensitive information with the right to protect life, a duty which it said it took “extremely seriously”.

The dispute centres on recent and historic cases, but The Detail believes that the list includes the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, where loyalist gunmen killed six people as they watched the World Cup in a Co Down bar.

In a statement to The Detail the ombudsman’s office said investigations into the circumstances surrounding more than 60 deaths “have now been stalled by a PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) refusal to provide certain material”.”

At the start of May the same news and current affairs website revealed that John Leckey, the north-east’s senior coroner, had officially complained that his investigations into historical deaths during the Long War were being being starved of resources by the British state.

Fundamentalism Hates Fundamentalism

Peter Robinson, the current DUP leader and Joint First Minister in the north of Ireland, caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border while testing out an AK47 automatic assault rifle

Peter Robinson, the current DUP leader and Joint First Minister in the north of Ireland, caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border while testing out an AK47 automatic assault rifle

When religious fundamentalism combines with politics to create a cultural and societal norm that “the people” are expected to conform to it must also create enemies and victims in order to justify and propagate that norm, whether they are real or not. From the Huffington Post:

“The First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson has said he would not trust Muslims “devoted to Sharia law” and appeared to back a controversial pastor who described Islam as “heathen” and “satanic”.

Pastor McConnell of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in north Belfast is being investigated by police for the comments he made a fortnight ago at a sermon, telling the congregation “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.”

“Enoch Powell was a prophet, he called it that blood would flow on the streets and it has happened,” he said, referring to the famous 1968 speech.

“Fifteen years ago Britain was concerned of IRA cells right throughout the nation,” he said. “They done a deal with the IRA because they were frightened of being bombed.

“Today a new evil has arisen. There are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain, can I hear an Amen, right throughout Britain, and this nation is going to enter into a great tribulation, a great trial.”

Robinson has attended the evangelical church in the past, and told the Irish News there “isn’t an ounce of hatred in his (the pastor’s) bones” and that it was a duty of a preacher to denounce “false prophesy”.

Asked he would trust Muslims, Robinson said he would be wary of those “fully devoted to Sharia law, I wouldn’t trust them for spiritual guidance”. But he would trust a Muslim to “go down to the shops’ for him” and in other “day-to-day issues”.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin said Robinson should show a better standard of tolerance.”

Perhaps we can draw some comfort from this fictional axiom?

“When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.”

Bene Gesserit proverb.