Former republicans abandoning Republic in favour of subservient nationalism
Niall Murphy reportedly opened the recent ‘Beyond Brexit – Ireland’s Future’ conference using the metaphor of Naomh Éanna CLG’s remarkable run to the forthcoming All-Ireland Intermediate Club Final. If only the political classes could be as certain of what they mean by ‘Ireland’ as the GAA are. Apparently the only challenge to the ongoing misappropriation of our country’s name by the 26 county administration came from one individual on the floor, the self-appointed “leaders of civic nationalism” either unconcerned or lacking the necessary backbone to confront the ‘Tweddledee and Tweedledum’ representatives from across the British imposed border on this crucial issue.
Maybe he was not taken into the confidence of Provisional Sinn Féin when, far from promising to uphold and defend the Belfast/Good Friday (dis)Agreement, they assured the faithful that the exact same tactics used in the Long Kesh workshops after the Hunger Strikes, throwing lumps of metal into the woodworking machines, would be deployed to destroy the ‘institutions’ from within.
Having being spared that duplicity and deceit probably makes it difficult for his ilk to understand why genuine republicans watch the ‘Redmondite Renaissance’ and ‘rising Home Rule tide’ with such utter dismay and sadness. Ironically, it seems that only the ‘Blueshirt’ Joe McHugh actually referenced the obscene reality which is the power vested solely in the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to control and determine Ireland’s political future and prevent the re-establishment of the Irish Republic. So much for democracy then – so much for defending Irish citizens’ rights to meaningful national self-determination.
The tragic deaths of a number of Naomh Éanna’s members at the hands of loyalist death squads, controlled and directed by British State Forces, was also poignantly mentioned, innocent victims brutally murdered simply for their faith and membership of a truly national organisation.
It may be totally beyond the comprehension of those behind the conference’s very neutral colour event that many other clubs have lost several members fighting against the very thing “civic nationalism” promotes, Britain’s “right” to control all our futures through the manifestation of a British border poll and the parliamentary legislative process that would hollow out any meaning on the other side of a vote for a United Ireland.
These members died fighting those very same British State Forces to rid Ireland once and for all of Britain’s malign selfish strategic determination to remain here. Few if anyone put it better than Seán MacDiarmada, “the mind of the revolution” when he said “Damn your concessions England, we want our country”.
Meanwhile, there is a more pressing short term battle to be won – Naomh Éanna Abú.
Galbally, Co Tyrone
Unionists can’t afford to ignore SDLP rebranding
Tomorrow at the SDLP conference will it be vote Colum and get Micheál. The imminent demise of constitutional nationalism will be greeted by many unionists with a degree of poignancy and unease. There will be dismay when the SDLP merge or are taken over by Fianna Fáil. The marriage spells out in no uncertain terms where a previously go to party of moderation is taking people to. The under currents behind such a deal propound a defiant signal which unionists cannot afford to ignore.
Twenty years ago the will of the Northern Ireland electorate was united and connected in a partnership between unionism and constitutional nationalism. Such was the power and persuasion of the togetherness it successfully delivered the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement which gave us all enjoyment within a secured peace. Therefore from a unionist perspective this unionist hardliner is genuinely saddened to see constitutional nationalism back out of its commitment to the Agreement they rubber stamped.
By all accounts the rebranding of the SDLP as a surrogate grouping controlled and directed by Fianna Fáil is indicative of running away and betraying those who support constitutional nationalism. For unionism having removed those with whom they are most comfortable with will be a serious setback.
Especially when a growing confrontational pan-Irish coalition is promoting divisive and unwanted destabilisation.
Unionists will take notice of the many thousands of disenfranchised constitutional nationalists left in the lurch without identity and representation following the Fianna Fáil takeover. It is our duty to energetically engage with them and make it clear that while we do not do nationalism our door is open to all .
Strangford, Co Down
A lesson that can’t be ignored
News that the ‘far-right’ Yellow Vest protesters, who were using racist rhetoric and trying to blame migrants for economic woes in our society, will not be gathering in Belfast anytime soon is very welcome news.
In Belfast, as in some other cities the far-right have tried to hijack the Yellow Vest movement and tried to blame our migrant brothers and sisters for economic and political problems.
However, to dismiss the whole Yellow Vest movement as right-wing or racist would not be accurate or reflective of the movement as a whole. The movement contains people who have been ground down by austerity and the increased cost of living, a trade union presence, and of course people from minority backgrounds.
The fact that in Belfast left-wing activists, anti-racist campaigners and the trade unions mobilised against the repeated attempts of the far-right to organise in our cities forced them to retreat and call off further action.
The lesson here is important and one we cannot ignore. When those groups or individuals enthused by racism try to organise, they need to be confronted and met with opposition.
GERRY CARROLL MLA
People Before Profit
Is history repeating itself?
Is Theresa May Britain’s Michael Collins?
The similarities are there, as 100 years ago Irish politicians had been agitating for their own exit terms from the imperial power of the world, Britain.
Britain’s empire had always been controlled by greed. Mainly of English, and in particular London’s, wealthy businessmen. An upper-class cabal of Tories whose only concern was their own wealth.
Their descendants have been agitating a form of Home Rule for Britain from Europe and are now spearheading exit negotiations in the form of Brexit.
Chief negotiator, Theresa May, was given the poison chalice by her party and travelled to Brussels to broker a deal with Europe’s modern empire, and like Michael Collins 100 years ago, came back with a proposal – a compromise deal.
A deal she believes is the best to be got from Brussels.
Lo and behold the major stumbling block in this proposal is the very condition that created Civil War in Ireland, leading to the deaths of many, including Ireland’s main negotiator, Michael Collins – that of the Irish border.
Will we see more borders before all this settles?
Hard, soft, sea/air. Irish,Scottish, Welsh or a combination of all.
One can only hope history is not repeated as we are in much more enlightened times. Aren’t we?