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Unionist sectarianism - 'all sides' to blame is the unionist refrain

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Saturday May 13, 2006 23:09author by James Reilly Report this post to the editors

Sectarianism - an inevitable offshoot of British rule

Susan McKay’s article in the Weekend Review section of the Irish Times (May 13 2006 - see link below) explains the background to the unionist sectarian killing of Michael McIlveen in Ballymena. In this DUP heartland over 90% of the sectarian attacks are unionist.

The PSNI calls this sectarianism that is almost universally unionist a “two way thing”. Ian Paisley wants “all sides” to “pull back”. Instead of examining whether unionist ideology is in any way at fault, Paisley warns nationalists in an insulting and bullying manner not to turn the issue into a “political football”.

Michael's mother Gina McIlveen outside her home in Ballymena (McKay IT 13 May 06)
Michael's mother Gina McIlveen outside her home in Ballymena (McKay IT 13 May 06)

When events like this awful tragedy occur, it offers a brief insight into the nature of unionist rule. Ian Paisley’s DUP in Ballymena run the borough the way they would like to run the North of Ireland – as a one party state. They think that is the ‘British’ way, majority rule. Those who do not like it do not like ‘Protestant’ British democracy. They are therefore ‘disloyal’. By logical extension ‘Protestant’ unionism sees Roman Catholicism as a problem. Democratic Unionist councillors like Roy Gillespie state that the murdered teenager will not get into ‘Heaven’ and that Gillespie’s religious principles prevent him from attending McIlveen’s funeral. A Roman Catholic nationalist expressing parallel sentiments with regard to an innocent murdered Protestant would be driven from nationalist politics. Mr Gillespie’s sentiments are in many ways typical. Ian Paisley, Roy Gillespie’s leader, also sees the religion of the boy and his family as that of the ‘Anti Christ’ Pope, and will not take up the father’s invitation to attend the funeral.

Southern evolution

The South of Ireland broke free from British rule in 1921 in order to escape a form of rule based on racist and sectarian principles, then based on Empire, in favour of a more tolerant civil society (though this would not have been clear from the aftermath of the victory of right-wing forces in the Civil War and the British enforced Treaty settlement).

British rule in any part of Ireland is unstable and bound to rely in the final analysis on sectarianism. The ideology that drives unionist sectarianism is based on its semi-detached relationship with the British state; one the latter has no intention of further cementing.

Institutionally sectarian

Is the North institutionally sectarian? I would say it is. The British Police in London were found to be “institutionally racist” by William McPherson’s official enquiry into the April 1993 racist murder of black teenager, Steven Lawrence. Consider the nature of unionist sectarian attacks in Northern Ireland, that have “never gone away”, that have not been adequately covered by the media, and that were even encouraged by political unionism. What does that make the northern state? ‘Institutionally sectarian’ seems the obvious answer. All other things being equal, the north finds its reason for existing in oppressing nationalists, identified as Roman Catholics. The annual orgy of Orange marches – 2,000 between Easter and September – maintains a strict code of sectarianism within civil society. Protestants are intimidated into line by a monolithic form of politics.

Sectarian “observers”

A state in which leading representatives of the Dominant political party, the DUP, attend loyalist blockades on Roman Catholic schools (Holy Cross in Belfast) and churches (Harryville, near Ballymena) as “observers” is palpably sick politically, by any normal definition of political health.

This unionist outlook is the reason why unionists are not allowed the normal democratic right of ‘majority rule’ – in a state originally carved out for their exclusive use. They are not trusted to rule fairly or with an ability to win legitimacy. It is the reason why ‘choice’ was removed from unionism. It is necessary if the state is to be in any way viable politically. In effect unionists have been given a state they are not allowed to rule exclusively, apart from where they have a local government majority in the exercise of limited powers of local government in the North. Those limitations were imposed after the start of the Troubles in 1968 when it was found, for instance, that unionists ruled areas like Derry and Strabane, areas they were a local minority, through gerrymander.

“Kith and kin”

There is little evidence that Unionism has evolved politically since 1921, the wider world is always seen through sectarian glasses. When Britain had an Empire, unionists supported it. When minority white Rhodesians under Ian Smyth declared a racist UDI in 1964, the Reverend Martin Smyth, former Unionist MP and head of the Orange Order, referred to white Rhodesians as unionism’s “kith and kin”. When Britain declared itself ‘multicultural’, unionism did so also. Unionism’s ‘Protestant’ culture and Orange Order marches through nationalist areas were classed as just one part of the fabric of the tolerant ‘British’ state – opposition was by definition intolerant. I write ‘British’ in inverted commas since the name of the state, the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, is a denial of the ‘Britishness’ of Northern Ireland. Unionists state that their problem in declaring their Irishness is due to the disloyal actions of nationalists. Since nationalists are disloyal by definition, this is a simple self-replicating justification.

Recognition of these truths leads to recognition of one of the flaws in the Good Friday Agreement. It is the right of unionists to have a veto over the formation of the Executive, the right of unionists to deny nationalists their right to rule with the representatives they have chosen. The other flaw is majority rule in local government. Resolving these strangleholds on progress will break the sectarian stranglehold on politics in the North. It will also break up the unionist monolith and the sectarian basis of the northern state. It will therefore cause unionism to fracture by removing its sectarian power base.

‘Wise’ Man

If Ian Paisley is ‘wise’ (in his own terms) therefore, he will stick to his sectarian ‘principles’ and not darken the door of a Roman Catholic Church to attend the funeral of a murdered constituent. British rulers, the final arbiters, will decide whether the choice Paisley makes is to be rewarded or punished. After all, Ian Paisley is ‘theirs’ politically, as are those who murdered Michael McIlveen.

Sectarianism is pursued as a defence, or as an assertion, of ‘Britishness’. It is up to the British to decide what attitude to take to the actions and outbursts carried out or uttered in their name.

Related Link:

Picture of Michael McIlveen being kissed by Protestant friends - text indicates nexus of unionist sectarianism (McKay IT 13 May 06)
Picture of Michael McIlveen being kissed by Protestant friends - text indicates nexus of unionist sectarianism (McKay IT 13 May 06)

Unionist sectarianism, a "two-way thing", says PSNI's Hugh Orde (McKay IT 13 May 06)
Unionist sectarianism, a "two-way thing", says PSNI's Hugh Orde (McKay IT 13 May 06)

The DUP world view: "croppy lie down" (McKay IT 13 May 06)
The DUP world view: "croppy lie down" (McKay IT 13 May 06)

Daily Ireland exposes DUP's sectarian underbelly - Paisleyite politics for the 21st Century
Daily Ireland exposes DUP's sectarian underbelly - Paisleyite politics for the 21st Century

author by Ciaránpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 04:22Report this post to the editors

Jude Collins: Enough ‘one-side-is-as- bad-as-the-other’ bunkum

Related Link:
author by Barrypublication date Sun May 14, 2006 05:32Report this post to the editors

one side as bad as the other ?

by the way here are the two Bebo accounts of the more eklderly murder accused , Aaron Wallace and Christopher Kerrr , aka Wellace and Kerr Bear . By the way fellow Bebo uses are making their feelings known in none too subtle terms

aaron wallace

christopher kerr

both loyalists charged with murdering the child Kevin McIlveen .

author by Rogerpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 15:07Report this post to the editors

Sectarianism/ racism what ever you want to call it is alive and well in Ireland. No section of Ireland as a whole or either of the main communities can claim any moral highground. We live in an incredibly short sighted, backward thinking country. Any real improvement is generations away, this inbred hatred of different communities isn't going to vanish over night. The other day I over heard a group of parents laughing at the fact that one of their children (about 3-4 years old) was able to say which of the Glasgow teams they supported because the other team were Orange/fenian Bast***s. I don't need to specify this particular example because we all know it's just a case of delete as appropriate.

author by SFpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 15:25Report this post to the editors

While there is sectarianism on both sides the reality is that the protestant community has a greater problem where this is concerned. when people like Paisley call catholics 'popeheads' and 'incubators for Rome' you can clearly see this.

author by Fact finderpublication date Sun May 14, 2006 16:20Report this post to the editors

Roger - all the empirical evidence is against you.

Nationalists suffer the vast majority of attacks (including deaths) and there is far greater tolerance of sectarian politics within unionism. From Holy Cross to Harryville and back, unionists see individual nationalists (of whatever age) and their religion as the problem. They have a state that was constructed to keep away from such people. Nationalist politics does not have this organised virulent strain of vicious sectarian paranoia.

It just happens to be a fact, one you clearly need to deal with. On the evidence, you do not and/or cannot.

author by reader of the irbb - nonepublication date Sun May 14, 2006 20:08Report this post to the editors

Someone calling themselves Loyalist Media Productions has made a video, disgustingly set to the song "How to be dead" by Snow Patrol, in which they blame the brutal murder of Michael McIlveen on just about everyone EXCEPT the loyalists that carried it out. They blame his parents, his friends, Republicans, the PSNI and Michael himself.

This tasteless piece of filth has no place on, as demonstrated by their own words:

"YouTube doesn't allow videos with nudity, graphic violence or hate. If you come across a video like this, click the link on the video to flag it as Inappropriate and submit the form on the next page to report it to YouTube.

YouTube has literally MILLIONS of viewers every day and just like in the real world, most of the people are good, but some of the people out there are very bad. So please take care to protect yourself and your fellow users by keeping personal videos private, your identity a secret, your comments clean and by using the flagging system to report abuse. "

So please, follow the link, sign up to YouTube, it's free and only takes seconds, then view this video and if you agree, then click the button that says "Flag as inappropriate" to alert the YouTube staff.


A moderator on the IRBB then notified members/readers that:

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol agrees and has requested their record label to force You Tube to address the matter

That video has since been removed. Job well done to the IRBB! The IRBB is the most read forum focused on Irish Republicanism on the net. It is maintained and moderated by members of Na Fianna Eireann, who are aligned to Republican Sinn Fein and the Republican Movement.

Related Link:
author by Rogerpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 00:37Report this post to the editors

I don't have any problem. I hate and detest sectarianism and racism where ever I see it. Your comments only go to prove my point. You're taking the moral highground because you see your side as having a better record. I'm not interested in "Head counts" because using that logic we can ALL be proud that we're not as bad as the people in Serbia or Rwanda. One sectarian/racist attack is one too many for a so called civilised society. However If you want to delude yourself that the Irish don't have their share of racists then go on looking at the world through your emerald tinted glasses.

author by Fact finderpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 09:18Report this post to the editors

You misunderstand Roger, whether deliberately or not may soon be clear. It is not a question as to where the better human beings are.

If we were to accept your logic in Ireland we would have to argue that black people are as guilty of racist attacks on white people, as are whites on black people. We know, however, that racism is predominantly a reactionary ideology espoused by white people in Ireland. Black people tend to be the victims.

In the North of Ireland, sectarianism, a form of racist ideology, is promoted by unionism. Overwhelmingly, nationalists are the victims.

Incidentally, organised racist attacks in the North are also predominantly the preserve of unionist paramilitaries (who find white supremacist fascist ideas congenial).

Hope that clarifies matters for you.

author by Rogerpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 13:09Report this post to the editors

Go on to the searchlight web site, and check out the white supremacist sites emminating from Ireland. There is a fair mix of backgrounds covered there.
I grew up in NI during the late sixties and seventies. I lived in a small mixed estate betwween two large Nationalist ones. It became impossible for me to get the bus to school as it wasn't safe for me to walk home. I'm glad you've clarified for me that it wasn't sectarian abuse I was getting, although at the time it did seem quite like it. Obviously I wasn't seeing the bigger picture. They were all obviously the victims.

author by -publication date Mon May 15, 2006 14:23Report this post to the editors

fair play to roger, a bit of sense. ALL sectarianism has to be combated wherever it comes from.

Sunday Tribune carried an article by Susan Breen (their Northern Editor) it was the most blatantly sectarian article ive ever read, made no mention of the fact protestants have also been victims of sectarian attacks. Now im sure catholics have had more attacks on themselves than protestants/unionists/loyalists (whatever you want to call people of that persuasion) but it doesnt take away from the fact sectarianism IS a 2 way street. Personally i find it offensive in the EXTREME the way nationalists/republicans use the word sectarianism, because they mean (of course!!) that its only people from one side of the community are sectarain.

Finally the editorial of Sunday Tribune said that Councillor Gillespie (a DUP reactionary of the highest order, i completely agree) had to face up to "the sectarianism at the heart of his community". ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING.

1 SECTARIAN ATTACK IS ONE TOO MANY. Ireland must be purged of this sick disease.

author by Fact finderpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 15:00Report this post to the editors

I accept what you say about your personal experiences and do not withdraw a singe word of my commentary on what you have written.

Let us see if we can reconcile that statement to your satisfaction.

Individual nationalists are capable of and express sectarian ideas. In practice Irish Nationalism has frowned upon and quickly and severely stamped on and denounced such manifestations. Unionism organises sectarianism as a political weapon for use against Irish nationalism. The Orange Order is the classic example, as is the perennial reference to the Protestant religion as a component part of unionism. I attach a section of the regulations of the Orange Order – the largest mass sectarian organisation on this island - that I came across on another thread.

Irish fascists are isolated and marginal – as well as hateful and vicious in their attacks on black people and their property. Unionist paramilitaries, quite large organisations, have occasionally wavered from organised vicious attacks on nationalists to organised vicious attacks on ethnic minorities in the North – and have used and promoted openly racist fascist literature in doing so. The Ulster Unionist Party - which debated having RCs as member in the 1960s - is in an alliance now with the political representative of the UVF in the Assembly. The UVF carried out most of the racist attacks in Belfast. That seems pretty mainstream to me.

This is why sectarianism is a political problem for unionism to a far greater extent than it is for Irish nationalism. Not because nationalists are better human beings, but because the ideology they espouse is more susceptible to solidarity and opposition to oppression than is unionism. It is the evidence of recent and past history. If Irish fascism is to re-emerge, it would likely be, as before, of the Blueshirt Fine Gael (PD?) variety – thought even writing that sentence shows the distance that would have to be travelled before it arrived. In the North unionism does not even recognise that sectarianism is predominantly an issue they must confront – sectarian ideology is the barrier to helping them see that it is so. When confronted unionists state, as with racism, that it is everybody's problem - but never theirs. It is a cop out.

Any clearer now? You might indicate in a further rely if you can generalise from your personal experience, to why it is that nationalists tend in general, in the main, to be the victims of sectarian attacks. If not, we are going round the houses.

(To the poster immediately after Roger: blaming all sides is blaming none. It is letting unionism off the hook. If you want to cure the "disease" of sectarianism could you please adress the fact that it has a DNA profile that attaches itself most readily to unionist politics.)

Some rules in the largest mass unionist organisation - the Orange Order
Some rules in the largest mass unionist organisation - the Orange Order

author by roosterpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 16:08Report this post to the editors

the protestant community has a greater problem where this is concerned.

its hilarious that someone who posts under the name "SF" can actually expect the rest of us to take the above seriously!

author by Rogerpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 16:38Report this post to the editors

I understand what you are saying, much of which makes perfect sense. I have long faced up to the fact of Unionist bigotry, and hence would have no truck with any of them. But I still maintain you have a slightly "greenish tinge " to those glasses you are wearing. You seem to have the opinion there might be a few Nationalists with Racist/sectarian views. A few bad apples etc etc. I hope you are right for where you live, It isn't the case (unfortunately) where I do.

author by James Reillypublication date Mon May 15, 2006 16:49Report this post to the editors

While Mr Rooster (above) is having a good laugh as he tries to change the subject, could I draw readers’ attention to the lead story in today’s Irish News (Monday 15 may 2006). It relates to a point brought up by ‘Fact finder’ – the seamless relationship between unionist politics and unionist paramilitarism..

The Irish News has been writing up a series on collusion between the RUC-UDR and the UDA-UFV, based on documents discovered by the Pat Finucane Centre. In the latest revelation, today, it is revealed that a unionist District Council leader, Clifford Davison, was simultaneously an “Officer Commanding” a paramilitary UDA unit, as well as being a UDR (British Army) soldier. Later, after he had been identified as a dual member higher up the political-military chain, something well known locally, he was dismissed from the UDR. However, amazingly, he was then allowed to join the RUC reserve, again despite it being clearly known and stated that he was in the UDA and the UDR at the same time.

UDA Legal

the Irish News details how the UDR was the UDA and UVF’s best source of weapons, and that dual membership was common (buy the paper for full story). The Photograph of two UDA murals on the lower Newtonards Road also illustrates the seamless relationship between unionist paramilitaries and unionist security forces.

Clifford Davison’s defence is that the UDA was ‘legal’ – but that is part of the criticism of the northern state. A sectarian organisation that organised and carried out sectarian killings was not banned until 1991/2. Over 350 killings were carried out by the UDA, which also used the cover name, the UFF.

The place where this happened: Ballymena.


Now the Ulster Unionist Party, that collapsed the power-sharing executive in the North over the issue of silent IRA arms, has incorporated into its party in Stormont the PUP representative. The UVF, the PUP’s military wing, has decommissioned nothing and has been involved recently in racist and sectarian attacks.

In the circumstances I do not hold out much hope that unionism is going to face the issue of sectarianism any time soon.

Irish News 15 May 2006 - left-click to enlarge or save (right-click, save)
Irish News 15 May 2006 - left-click to enlarge or save (right-click, save)

UDA-UDR- B Specials - legally sectarian
UDA-UDR- B Specials - legally sectarian

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Mon May 15, 2006 16:50Report this post to the editors

The Balancing Act

Quote –

‘This is why sectarianism is a political problem for unionism to a - greater extent than it is for Irish nationalism – ‘Not because nationalists are better human beings, but because the ideology they espouse is more susceptible to solidarity and opposition to oppression than is unionism’
It is the evidence of recent and past history’

- based on the facts -I can hold support for that statement

-And had raised such in interviews in relation to Racism as well.

Of course 'Sectarianism as with Racism cuts across all ‘traditions and classes and you can hear such used at the dinner tables of the ‘rich and see it played out more overtly on the streets of the ‘poor’ – but one must deal with the reality when the reality is there.

For me I see many - and have come to that understanding, of many playing the Balancing ACT, - that is if ‘one side said or did it, then we have to find something that the ‘other side did – as so to ‘Balance it up.

Indeed this not only from some ‘established’ and ‘mainstream media sources and political parties -but indeed from some on the ‘left.

I believe that one must say it as it is, similar as I believe that if one is a ‘Socialist, that one not only stands firm, speaks out and mobilises on all those Global issues, such as Iraq – Iran war and lets not forget Afghanistan and the whole litany of other such covert or overt wars - that one must do similar therefore with the issue of that very same brutality at ‘home’

I see too many Socialists and such organisations that deal only with –, lend solidarity to - and mobilises only on, the ‘fluffy issues.

One does not need to move of these shores to have found brutality, repression and the slaughter of innocents, one does not need to leave these shores to find, collusion, cover up and 'shoot to kill – One cannot ‘stand against such issues in far of lands, while brushing over them ‘at home’ and, I believe, still stand in the ranks of Revolutionary Socialism, Anarchism, left Republicanism etc.

Indeed while I had marched and mobilised on Global and International issues and linked them to such local workers, and bread and butter issues, I still marched and protested against Collusion, against the use of Plastic bullets for ‘Dissent Republicans rights in Prison - etc– {indeed, by and large - being the only 'Socialist to do so from 'those Revolutionary Socialist Organisations} -and apart from the usual ‘verbal words of intimidation’ from the State forces, my greatest ‘critics ‘though where ‘other Socialists who ‘attempted to ‘tar me, {‘ with Republican etc – as if it is only Republicans who can - should, speak out and lend solidarity on such issues} - rather than support.

To call and mobilise for such in far away lands indeed shows ones Internationalism - but to attempt to side step it at home – shows the reality of such politic.

A matter I will return to in the months ahead.

The reason for this post is the issue, for me. is one not only of - the ‘Balancing Act - from many quarters – but indeed also the nature of the re – action, or lack of - to various ‘events..

This, no so more as in recent time and the uncovering of more ‘Facts of Collusion’ in the Irish News, which I believe there will be more such in the coming time, from various quaters.

Yet while many had raised such matters over the years {Republicans, supporters of them – and indeed many respected human right organisations] – yet such was dismissed, ignored or even ridiculed as fantasy – by many.

Yet even as more facts come out, step by step, there is little ‘uproar’ about it, from many both in the media and those political parties who have went ‘Mental’ at many a minor issue in the recent past.

For me, and many of my generation - this says a lot, more especially if even today that such is dismissed, ignored or ridiculed by such organisations and parties etc {even when such facts are provided} – what indeed was it like in the seventies, eighties - nineties– Indeed it does not take one to have an in-depth knowledge of such to know that answer.

The issue of Collusion raised, is of such enormity – that it is hard to even get ones head around it.

What we had was a state that ‘ Directed’ and ‘Systematically’ murdered its own citizens.
{ systematic - through targeting, providing of information for, setting up and ‘taking out ‘required targets – both for military and political reasons– This, setting aside the other murders of innocents that the agents of the state were carrying out}

Now think about that – the state – and it went to the highest of levels, knew of, and where directing the murder of its own citizens – the enormity of this, and yet apart from those who are and have ‘reported on such matters , many others show little sign of acknowledging such – for ‘whatever interests.

Yet this collusion went to the very heart of the system – within every aspect of it and within every one of its functions. Yet as we are lead to believe {in some quarters} that the state was just colluding in the cover up and murder of those ‘Terrorists {and therefore that is O.K} – well for myself it seen childhood school friends from – a child {a young girl} murdered and collusion of cover up – it seen a relative now – again a child {a young boy} – again murdered and collusion of cover up -it seen a young innocent neighbour – murdered via collusion and cover up –

Indeed -

-The list goes on in their hundreds over the decades, for many families.

Yet when a state moves to direct the murder of its own citizens it is for all to speak out and demand the truth – their can be no balancing act – as the truth, must be the truth, must the truth.

The truth must out, but when it does, it must be carried – more especially as so such can be learnt from for our future generations and to attempt to bring closure to many more.

Therefore The truth should not be 'Balanced {in that regard}, it should, simply, be the truth.

And indeed to those seekers and speakers of the truth,


author by James Reillypublication date Mon May 15, 2006 21:44Report this post to the editors

Very interesting information from Manus O'Riordan on anti Jewish racism during the First World War fomented by pro war Redmondite Irish Parliamentary Party in the South and by pro-war unionists in the north - the unionists even drove out their unionist Jewish former Lord Mayor, Otto Jaffe.

To be a Jew was to be considered a German and subject to organised persecution and prejudice - ironic considering what transpired 20 years later in Europe. Ironic also considering the treatment of Muslims today, who are considered ‘suspect’ purely on the basis of their religion.

I quote in part from O’Rordan (see link below):

"The anti-Semitic hysteria of the British Establishment had its greatest impact in Ulster. In Jews in Twentieth Century Ireland Dermot Keogh has brought to light the fact that Sir Otto Jaffe, Belfast’s only Jewish Lord Mayor, who had held that office in both 1899 and 1904, was compelled to resign his seat on Belfast City Council and flee Ulster in 1916. Despite the fact that this Life-President of the Belfast Jewish Congregation had lived in Ulster for over sixty years, that he had funded the establishment of a physiology laboratory in Queen’s University Belfast and that he had both a son and a nephew serving in the British army that was waging war on Germany, his own German birth now made Jaffe a marked man among his fellow-Unionists. If in April 1920 Dublin City Council could belatedly but unanimously make amends to the memory of the now-deceased Kuno Meyer, perhaps a more enlightened Belfast City Council might yet do the same for Otto Jaffe.

Russian-born but Newry-reared Leonard Abrahamson observed in 1914 that “the virus of anti-Semitic feeling, born of ignorance and fostered by unrelenting prejudice, still courses in the veins of numerous – if not the majority – of Britishers”. And Leonard’s own father became the target of such anti-Semitism. Never in his life had he had the remotest connection with Germany. But this mere fact was not to spare David Abrahamson from being subjected to the “anti-German” attacks of Ulster’s Empire Loyalists in both Newry and Bessbrook. Leonard further observed:

“Since the outbreak of the war, the belief generally rampant that all Jews are Germans, has given rise to many unpleasant and reprehensible occurrences. Not only has this erroneous notion gained ground amongst the uneducated but it has been fostered by the repeated linking in several journals – amongst others, the ‘Times’ – of the term Jew and German”.

Such experiences only served to accelerate Leonard Abrahamsons’s own development as an Irish Nationalist. As honorary librarian of Trinity College Dublin’s Gaelic Society, and signing himself Mac Abram, he was to be disciplined in November 1914 by the University’s Provost John Pentland Mahaffy for daring to invite “a man called Pearse” to speak from its platform, to whom Mahaffy particularly objected because “he was a declared supporter of the anti-recruiting agitation” against Britain’s War-effort. The occasion was to have been a Thomas Davis Centenary lecture by W.B. Yeats, with Tom Kettle requested to propose the vote of thanks and Patrick Pearse to second it. Barred from Trinity, Abrahamson and his colleagues were determined to retain Pearse as a speaker, and so they reconvened the meeting with a new venue in the Antient Concert Rooms on November 20th. British army recruiting officer Kettle arrived in uniform at the meeting quite drunk, and was booed both for his recruiting activities and his drunkenness. Pearse sang the praises of John Mitchel as well as Davis. And Yeats, while criticising both the Unionism of Mahaffy and the pro-Germanism of Pearse, also went on to take a stand against Kettle’s hate-campaign against German culture.

Central to Connolly’s propaganda against Britain’s War was his exposure of anti-Semitism. This was no overnight conversion on Connolly’s part. If we are to assess the whole array of Irish leaders of the past century, Connolly stands head and shoulders above everybody else in his commitment to a pluralist Ireland that should also welcome the Jewish immigrant. In my 1988 study Connolly Socialism and the Jewish Worker that was published in “Saothar”, Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, I pointed out Connolly’s unique place in history as the only Irish politician ever to have published an election address in the Yiddish language. This was during the 1902 local elections when he sought the support of the immigrant Jewish workers who had fled to Dublin as refugees from Tsarist Russian pogroms. His Redmondite opponents responded by putting it about among Christian voters that Connolly must therefore have been a Jew himself!"

The present day promoters of John Redmond, who sent thousands to die in WWI and who wanted to carve out Ireland's place in Britain's racist empire, have forgotten this episode, as have the promoters of unionist 'multiculturalism'. I am happy to remind them.

For the rest see link below.

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author by Gilbert Jeannonpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 00:07Report this post to the editors

The activities of the unionist bigots in Ballymena should surprise no-one. N.Ireland was founded with sectarianism as the control mechanism for the unionist ruling class. There are bigots to be found in all communities in the six counties, however only the unionist population has had its sectarianism supported by the establishment.

Why does racism flourish so openly in loyalist / unionist areas, unchallenged? Because sectarianism and racism are tools for the division of us as workers and the norn iron is still an apartheid statelet. Will we hear one media outlet come clean and admit that as long as partition exists, then other innocents will be murdered by the sectarian/ racist cowards. These cowards who justify their violence because the state allows them, needs them to hate

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 12:03Report this post to the editors

On you 'Points -

-well Protestants are married into my family and had been since the very earliest days of the troubles.

I have been welcomed into working class Protestant estates, I have canvassed in 'such, spoke at conferences in 'such, have friends and comrades living ‘in such

On Provos and Republicans - I have openly condemned brutal and savage killings by them {in my diary for example} - and had been to the forefront in actively mobilising Catholics and Protestant against threats – threats made by Republicans to Protestant workers etc etc.

As I have said, one needs to say it as it is - however hard or uncomfortable that may be. Indeed I had got various, ‘Republican intimidation at the time, from some, for ones stance against such, similar I had got such 'intimation from Loyalism and Unionist, for others things, and similar I have got 'similar from the state, and, indeed, similar again by other ‘Socialists etc –

Yet such brutality, repression etc, as I raised above - and whatever I raise and mobilise against such {from whatever quarters] – I have come to expect there will always be 'one side or other, who hold problems with that.

That does not fuss me - as the search from truth and justice -as a whole- for oneself, far ascends above the fear of alienating one side or the other in the - Balancing Game-

But a ‘ Sectarian Provo lover I am not and a ‘Prod basher I am not, therefore I would kindly ask that i not be referred as such – if I was included in you rant. - Regards D

author by James Reillypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 13:36Report this post to the editors

As always the drift back into the complacency of everyone, meaning no one, to blame re-emerges: one side is as bad as the other, evil men on both sides, this is awful, let us wring our hands and proclaim our shared guilt (meaning our own sense of inner perfection).

Let us do everything and therefore nothing.

Politics is about getting to the heart of the matter and in this case sectarianism is a product of the northern state and of its justification. Representative unionism has always used sectarianism as a weapon, and has always run from the squalid implications and effects of that position, when the awful consequences lie dead on the street.

The article by Susan McKay in today's Irish News helps to pinpoint how sectarianism is not an afterthought or a side effect.

I was not aware of it but I should have guessed: Ian Paisley actually qualified his condemnation of the killing of Michael McIlveen. He sought to pin responsibility on republicans over a few flags. How pathetic.

This arises out of attempts to prevent loyalists from decorating the area around Harryville RC Church with sectarian murals and graffiti – the same church that unionists ‘picketed’ for months during services (see IT article from last Sat, reproduced above and in ‘other press’), accompanied by Paisley Jnr acting as an “observer”.

The unionist paramilitaries claimed to be upset at tricolours in nationalist areas. This is par for the course. They claimed that the sustained violent blockade of Holy Cross school some years ago was due to a distant event in which a loyalist fell off a ladder. Anyone who has attempted to converse with these people finds a series of idiotic preconditions, attempts to dictate who they will and will not discuss with, and invented issues that cause them to “act like fascists because it is a cry for help”. (I paraphrase the PUP’s David Ervine’s ‘explanation’ of Holy Cross).

In fact, can the unionist problems with Sinn Fein in the Executive be described in any more accurate terms?

Read on - the article is readable if left-clicked or if right-clicked and saved and printed.

Paisley accepts unionist paramilitary "analysis" on sectarian killling
Paisley accepts unionist paramilitary "analysis" on sectarian killling

UUP form alliance with unionist paramilitary spokesperson
UUP form alliance with unionist paramilitary spokesperson

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author by James Reillypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

Sinn Fein are not worthy to share power with this man of God.

Cartoon with Irish News article by McKay (above)
Cartoon with Irish News article by McKay (above)

author by Davy Carlin - Organise!publication date Tue May 16, 2006 16:45Report this post to the editors

I quote 'as the search from truth and justice '

but should read - 'as the search FOR truth and justice' - D

author by cork john - pg studentpublication date Tue May 16, 2006 18:22author email mrjoneill at eircom dot netReport this post to the editors

Censorship of Free Speech on UCC Student Web site

I posted on the UCC Student web site on the killing of 15 yrs Michael McIlveen, one of the postings was on the bebo site of Christopher Kerr, the 19 yrs old charged with his death. My purpose as you can read from my posting was to provide information.
The bebo address was removed from the forum and I got a warning from the Administrator of that site Kris McEihinney, UCC Student Union that I would be banned; Sonya Donnelly one of his moderators a pg law student ably but stupidly primed him.

The link to the topic on the UCC student web site.

If they are turning out students like this, God help us for the future for such right wing reactionaries and the right of free speech. They definitely are not making student like they used to make them in the past.

author by James Reillypublication date Tue May 16, 2006 19:21Report this post to the editors

Text version of McKay piece linked below

Text at
Text at

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author by arthurpublication date Wed May 17, 2006 02:33Report this post to the editors

Roger is right,and what needs to be said is that the morning we awake and contemplate injury or death to another persons child there is something seriously wrong. Its also time to do something to debunk the clerics, reverned,and Politicans etc and endaver to put some facts between our and their ears, otherwise the usual apologists will just entrench their positions at the expense of the young lad that was sensleesy murdered. We hear a lot this last few days about the da vinchi code etc, but it is time to cut out the fiction and embrace the undeniable knowledge gleamed from DNA of our species that is able to trace our human origns to Africa, from which our ancestors all left approximately 70k years ago, before any religon was invented. What must be realised is that the Jesuit Priest syndrome is a legacy in all of us IE (give me a child for his developing years and he is mine for life) and its high time the consequences of this subtle programming was recognised and its affects on both communities.
Human beings will reflect the environment they are brought up induring their development years and Young Micheal McLLveen, although fatally injured was able to make it home in spite of his injuries to his enviroment . Equally both communities know of no other environment and some of the people who want to take us all politically into a different enviroment need to grasp and understand what this means . Human kind may not have a rosy future and whatever time is left should not be wasted as there are far too many decent and nature people right across the spectrum in NI who are very distressed and saddened by this tragedy and its affect on Michaels family.

author by James Reillypublication date Wed May 17, 2006 16:09Report this post to the editors

Funeral of murdered Catholic boy taking place - PSNI criticised (Daily Ireland and

"Mr Shevlin [PSNI Superintendent] yesterday sparked anger after he claimed sectarian attacks in the Ballymena area were not a “one-way affair”.

He said: “It wouldn’t be fair to the whole community to suggest that it was one on the other – this has been a two-way affair.

“Sectarianism has to have two parties to be involved in it and this is what has been happening in Ballymena.”

Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney said Mr Shevlin’s comments were a “disgrace”.
“I accept that some Catholics have been involved in sectarian incidents, but nowhere near the same scale as loyalists,” said Ms Digney.

“Catholics in this town are terrified. They are afraid to go out in case they are targeted. Terry Shevlin should hang his head in shame.”

SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan said Mr Shevlin has given a wrong impression that sectarianism is primarily a two-way problem in Ballymena.

“It is a fact that in recent years and months the nationalist community has borne the brunt of attacks,” he said.

“There is a history of misrepresentation of this central reality which is not constructive in finding solutions.”

According to the latest PSNI statistics, between April 2005-06 a total of 47 assaults and 15 cases of sectarian intimidation took place in the Co Antrim town. There was also one attempted murder and three incidents of conspiracy to murder.

This averages out at more than one serious sectarian attack per week. Only Belfast, which has ten times the population of Ballymena, has a higher rate of sectarian incidents."


Cunning plan is 'assisted suicide' for UUP by Brian Feeney (Irish News)

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author by By Any Means Necessarypublication date Wed May 17, 2006 16:35Report this post to the editors

Sectarian attacks in North Belfast and against the Short Strand were reported by the six county media as being "tit for tat" during the pograms of 2001-2002 . Despite PSNI figures which clearly showed that over ninety two percent of sectarian attacks originated from unionist paramilitaries and their supporters.

The same official line is being used to cover up the sectarianism of the unionist community in Ballymena.

It is non-sense to try to portray sectarianism as a two way street. Sectarianism is a well known device of British colonialism for dividing and ruling.

It indicates the institutional and political system which has dominated the six counties from 1921.

But it suits those supporters of the six counties to try to ignore the sectarian foundations of N.Ireland and thus add to this fundamental problem.

author by SFpublication date Wed May 17, 2006 16:40Report this post to the editors

Apparently Paisley visited the family on Sunday and prayed with them. This must be a first for Paisley - praying with Catholics, how will that go down with fellow fundamentalists: " Come ye out from among them" " light cannot have fellowship with darkness".

author by Tom Cooperpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 14:25Report this post to the editors

No VIP treatment for loyalist victim’s families
23 May 2006

THE brutal killing of Robert McCartney by republicans in Belfast following a bar room brawl provoked an outcry that was heard all the way to the White House. His family were taken to Washington twice to meet with the most influential politicians in the USA, including senators Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, culminating in a meeting with President Bush.

I take the view that the McCartney killing was used cynically to prolong direct rule in the North. Despite the politicising of Mr McCartney’s death, his family are to be commended for the dignified manner in which they pursued justice for their brother. Like civilised people everywhere, I hope their quest for justice is satisfied.

Since the killing of Mr McCartney, two Catholic schoolchildren, Michael McIlveen and Thomas Devlin, were randomly attacked and murdered by loyalist murder gangs.

The families of these two boys were not invited to meet Bush or influential senators on Capitol Hill.

However, the family of Michael McIlveen were not totally ignored by politicians. Roy Gillespie, a DUP councillor, reminded the bereaved family that their murdered son would not go to heaven because he was a Catholic. These ignorant and insensitive remarks pollute the good name of Protestantism. Such comments are a sober reminder of the journey still to travel to bring about reconciliation on this island.

With a wonderful Christian intellectual and spiritual tradition that gave us Swift, Tone, Yeats, and Hyde, how did we end up with the likes of Cllr Gillespie?

Tom Cooper

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Sat May 27, 2006 10:22Report this post to the editors

Relevant article to read with this - is attached

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author by roosterpublication date Fri Jun 02, 2006 22:18Report this post to the editors

"Unionist sectarianism - 'all sides' to blame is the unionist refrain" which was the title of this story to links about Loyalists, don't people recognise the difference anymore??

author by James Reillypublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 13:18Report this post to the editors

More on the celebration of sectarianism that is 'Orangefest' here:

More to follow on the huge increase in sectarian attacks on nationalists this year – a huge increase on the ‘normal’ level of unionist sectarianism, that is.

This is the story you will not read about in the Dublin media, and that, unfortunately, the left ignores (except when it falls for the establishment refrain that “all sides” are to blame).

Exceptionally, on ‘Morning Ireland’ on RTE this morning the story was covered in the context of Susan McKay’s piece on Ian Paisley in the Irish News today (to follow).

The vicious sectarian attack on the son of Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan was largely ignored and I am not aware that any media outlet followed up the interview with Declan O’Loan in the Irish News yesterday.

To be a nationalist in the North is to be a potential victim of sectarian attack. Keeping ‘Taigs’ in their place is part of the ideology of unionism and, in so far as they graft an ‘ethnic’ Protestant exclusivity on to their reactionary ideology, makes it a form of racism.

Son of Nuala O'Loan talks about vicious sectarian attack
Son of Nuala O'Loan talks about vicious sectarian attack

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author by James Reillypublication date Tue Jul 25, 2006 17:09Report this post to the editors

Interview with Damien O'Loan on

'Click' on article to read or 'right-click' to save and/or print.

Susan McKay Irish News today July 25 2006 on unionist sectarian attacks
Susan McKay Irish News today July 25 2006 on unionist sectarian attacks

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