The following closing sentence is largely untrue
During the height of the Troubles, the authorities betrayed you by shooting you in the back as you drove down a country lane.
Yes there were horrors and atrocities, but those committed by ‘the authorities were very few compared with the bombings, shootings, evictions, and extortion by terrorists and paramilitaries on both sides. The authorities were stuck in the middle of a civil war and mostly did a really good job of preventing anarchy and paramilitary rule often with conspicuous personal bravery.
The authors’s main point about the consequences of absent politicians in the current context is valid. But his cheap shot at authorities shooting people in the back, as if it were a daily occurence across NI, is just that – a sensationalist, unhelpful, cheap shot which is mostly untrue. And it does nothing to help a process of reconciliation.
Didnt the IRA kill over 3000 people? In a country of 1.5 million, this is as if 9/11 killed 300000. The article ignores the Ghaddafi funding of the Provos. Oh, and my favourite, that Ross McWhirter was murdered because he offered 50000£ for info on the IRA leaders.
Well said indeed, even if some US readers will find it hard to do the maths.
In fact if 9/11 had occurred in NI it would have meant about 13 dead……..well below Omagh at 29 for example.
..or Bloody Sunday? You don’t usually expect ruthless terrorists to be wearing uniforms do you?
All 15,000 demonstrators on that sunny Sunday were either active or passive IRA/Fenian supporters*. If they didn’t want to get shot they should have remained at home watching the telly after their Sunday lunch. As it was they decided to riot & demonstrate with the inevitable result.
(*99.8% Passive, 0.2% Active.)
I’m no IRA supporter, or even particularly support a United Ireland, but that truly is a ridiculous statement, as evidenced by reams of testimony. God help us if we live in a country where politicians and even the military can ‘look into our souls’; and decide we are an enemy. It was an overwhelmingly peaceful and unarmed civil rights march, despite some (possible) shots which may have occurred. The paras were almost determined to find someone to punish that day, whatever the situation before them. Bloody Sunday in fact hugely increased support for the provos.
Tell that to CI Stalker the senior English policeman who investigated RUC collusion with loyalist paramilitaries!! The murder of lawyers wasn’t beyond them nor the policy of shoot first and ask questions afterwards! The Paras provedb themselves to be ruthless savages.
Your memory is vert short I’m afraid. Let us move on armed with Reconciliation though: not lies / whitewashing.
A former Sergeant of 3 Para who was blown up at Warren Point spent a week with me last year. Picking pieces of his dead comrades up at the scene was forever etched in his memory. He said that from that moment, his men shot to kill. However their instructions were never to shoot in the back…which some broke only to find themselves in legal trouble more recently. He and his men were not on duty at so called “Bloody Sunday”.
You need only check out his RCP father Frank.&the bunch of contrarian hustlers he moves with.
That’s simply untrue. When the British army first arrived, it was largely neutral. However, under the direction of the Conservative government in Westminster and the Unionist government in Stormont, it soon abandoned its neutrality and became a instrument of Protestant anti-Catholicism.
“Armoured cars, Tanks and Guns come to take away our sons”!
Is Ireland ever going to move on ? Or forever remain ossified with hatred?
However it does seem that finally Boris & Co are to cease the vexatious prosecutions that are being perused against former British soldiers*, which has so tarnished the admittedly already dismal reputation the Northern Ireland Prosecution service.
Yet before we rejoice, we most note that the malign influence of Nancy Pelosi & NORAID and others will remain to ‘poison the chalice’.
The ultimate absurdity in all this is that the English taxpayer is funding the whole wretched charade, that is Northern Ireland to the tune of £10 billion per annum. Enough is enough, or as the sainted Oliver Cromwell would have said “For God’s sake go!”
(* Veterans in US speak.)
I imagine the English deliver the money in armoured cars and tanks but for some strange reason no one ever wrote a song about that.
Not even the ‘Wolfe Tones’ sadly.
..the “sainted” Oliver Cromwell? Responsible for the murder of Irish men women and children Ukraine style (but more vicious) and the enslavement of 50,000 Irishmen to the Carolinas (who died like flies unable to endure the heat).. that saint is it?
Boy: you guys sure do have a sick, twisted version of what is Christian, just or decent. And your ability to convince yourselves that black is white, false is true and wrong is right is mind blowing.
You are very easily provoked, may I suggest “more haste, less speed”?
And you, sor, are a very provocative troll.
Surely even you can do better than that Sir?
That is much too partisan account of Cromwell’s role in Ireland, making him into a bogeyman rather than the complex individual he was. Few historians demur from the fact that he sacked cities after giving their garrisons a chance to surrender, which they did not. The subsequent sacking was completely standard practice in the wars of that period, and his response was relatively moderate compared to the horrors of the 30 years’ war, which significantly depopulated much of central Europe. Of course two wrongs don’t make a right, and Cromwell detested Catholicism, but didn’t kill Catholics in cold blood just because they were Catholics. Wikipedia has a pretty fair-minded article and says among a lot of detail that “The contemporary laws of war were clear: if surrender was refused and a garrison was taken by assault, then its defenders could lawfully be killed. That is; acceptance of a surrender of the besieged after the storming of the breach was at the discretion of the attacker.”
If you are going to go down the route of raking up long-past atrocities, then you could be rather more even-handed and mention the slaughter of Protestant planters in the 1641 by Catholics, men women and children, which of course in its turn inflamed Protestant sentiment.
So, in other words, you support a united Ireland?!
If you’re going to write an article about Northern Ireland, at least get the basics right.
Firstly, Stormont not existing is nothing to do with the DUP not electing a ‘speaker’. They are refusing to nominate a deputy first minister.
Which leads me to point 2 – Sinn Fein did not ‘take control’ of the NI Assembly. Apart from the fact that the institutions are deliberately set to not allow any one side to ‘take control’, and the DFM role has the same powers as FM, SF has the same number of seats as they had before and Nationalist representation overall reduced!
Which leads me to point 3 – SF has blocked operation of the assembly for 3 YEARS before now and the DUP blocking it for 3 weeks. And yet what does the UK Media do? Report virtually nothing on SF blocking the assembly and report it constantly when the DUP do it.
NI has many problems of which the protocol is probably not the biggest – but it is absolutely harming trade with NI’s biggest market and it is driven by totally unnecessary EU intransigence which is sacrificing peace in return for trade. This didn’t get anywhere near enough comment in this article.
In conclusion, badly researched tosh giving the same old nonsense we can read in the graun or torygraph.
Maybe it’s time to rename the website ‘Herd’.
The EU is intent upon stealing NI from the UK and can achieve it without doing very much because the Boris government is weak. “I’m Irish’ Biden hates Britain and is doing his bit, threatening no trade deal with UK.
A theft that is going to save the English Tax payer 10 billion a year, is the acceptable face of Criminality in my view.
Bet neither EU or Eire really wants to take on such a poisoned chalice, let alone the (dis)united states!
..a little unfair. I believe the intransigence to be at least 50:50. Surely hassle-free NI exports to the EU (via and including to the ROI) is far more valiable than hassle between GB-NI where tweeks can be ‘engineered’ more easily. Here’s a question? What is produced in GB than NI cannot get from the EU? Just because you don’t trade with your fellow Brits down mean you can’t do all the lovie-dovies with ’em.. why not make your own UK flags and bunting, build yer own Lambeg drums and fifes and print all the royal pictures, posters and mugs you need within NI? You can do with the extra jobs! Importi g fresh flowers and meat etc from “the mainland” is not very green us it? Sure you can produce your own can’t you?
a bit one sided? turn it on its head for a second :Imagine someone in Roscommon who was used to buying their everyday stuff (plants from a garden centre in Tipperary say) I think they would be annoyed to be told they can’t deal with those people from Tipp anymore. Because even though you feel Irish you now need to import from Nederlands instead because you need to be more European.
That may all be fair enough comment, but the article wasn’t particularly about the current political impasse, although partly mentioning its effect on a border village.
I think the people of Northern Ireland should determine their own future, but the reality is that no one in mainland Britain, least of all our PM who has shafted his erstwhile DUP allies, cares all that much about it, and that the Northern Irish as a while voted to remain in the EU. So perhaps the current botched arrangements are the sort of thing that was always likely to arise post Brexit.
The mention of the huge shifts for Sinn Fein “Northern Ireland’s latest political revolution” is totally out too. The union vote was split amongst unionists. That’s why Sinn Fein is the biggest party. There was no major vote shift.
The majority want to stay in the union.
Off course the majority want “to stay in the Union”, who wouldn’t? But those who pay for this wretched Union are sick and tired of it, the constant squealing for English cash is quite sickening.
To be fair, it’s exactly the same with the bankrupt Scotch.
Astonishing as it may seem there are areas in England far more deserving than these Celtic parasites, the ‘Red Wall’ for one.
I sometimes wonder if Boris’s best tactic would be to threaten handing over Northern Ireland, lock, stock and barrel, complete with its bigotry and hatred, to the EU. I suspect the response would be, “What changes in the NIP would you like and how soon would you like them?”
Journalism gave up on the facts long ago.
Well put: politicians stink.. useless bunch of self-serving, snouts-in-the-trough.. it’s time for all NI voters to move to the Alliance Party and leave the old diehards behind in the past where they belong. Young people of NI: I urge you to vote for major change! Get involved! The future is yours..
You might well be right, and so it would be helpful if you pointed out which bits are wrong. I’ve never been to NI and so I’m just a casual observer, but I like to be well informed.
I do have some experience and find the article ok: it’s not historically complete of course, merely a snapshot to reflect the utter futility of NI hatred. In that I think he succeded. Protocol schmotocol!
Absolutely. A cheap shot.
My counter is when, as an army sub-unit commander in South Tyrone in 1989 a colleague of mine (an RUC inspector) was murdered in his own home in Armagh City.
PIRA bust through his patio doors and shot him, point blank, in the head in front of his wife and two young children.
There doesn’t have to be a hard border – the UK doesn’t want one. It’s the EU who insist on it.
Nope! The EU insists on border checks in the Irish Sea to protect the EU from substandard (eg South American) food products and inferior medical products etc. The EU like the US is committed to the GFA and will not trade with the UK if it it ridden roughshod over. The UK is out on a limb: nobody will trade with it. NI is out on a limb from the UK (already out on a limb) so nowhere to go but crash to the ground. Sensible, practical NI (not least NI businessmen of the Unionist tradition) will see (most have already) that the future is with the EU in a federal Ireland ie with NI an autonomous region within the ROI. That is the solution: it’s as plain as the nose on your face! NI is in the magical win-win situation (vs the UK in a lose-lose situation: just listen to Michael Lambert on YouTube).. I’m speaking as a ROI COI, 72 years old: are we discriminated against in the ROI? No: but we are discriminated FOR ie positive discrimination. The ROI is a thousand times better than NI in every way.
Unfortunately, the NIP holds the balance of power regarding UK EU dynamic alignment vs UK EU mutual equivalence.
The latter of which the Progressive EU US Alliance rejects because they reject a networked multipolar world in which they lose power as opposed to global blocism in which they think they will gain power.
As such, there are only two NIP landing zones.
An Irish land customs border with UK EU dynamic alignment or an Irish sea customs border with UK EU mutual equivalence..
The EU-US Alliance seeks an Irish sea customs border with UK EU dynamic alignment which is totally unacceptable to the UK/DUP.
It is now clear that the US actively seeks a CIA inspired United States of Europe to take on the power of the Russia Fed so that the US can solely focus on China.
The motive being to escalate global blocism and the possibility of war as we head into a gdp per capita resource constrained world.
The question is whether Northern Ireland realises that it is in the crossfires of a US driven global geopolitical reordering that seeks to subsume NI and the UK without democratic consent.
The US no longer drives anything; we are driven. Have you seen our “President”? This demi-cadaver serves to assure the world that sovereign nations no longer exist, that faceless global entities run every institution, that this, indeed, is the new world order long dismissed or scoffed at. Too many of us were and still are complicit in empowering it. I have long had a soft spot for Ireland; its ancient lore, its lilting, unparalleled humor, it’s beauty and romance – and I haven’t even been there. But I’m afraid to tell her and, really, the rest of the world: don’t look to politicians or committees or protocols or agreements. The creatures who run the world would really rather we not bother them and just go away – by any means necessary.
I wouldn’t worry about the Yanks. The Dems in the Senate will be obliterated come November and the GOP are unlikely to imitate Nancy Pelosi in this matter.
I am sorry to hear how things are with you. If I had my way I would renew the border( only as a token of different countries) but have it open, not managed so you could live and work both sides. Of course this demands honesty of not taking the wrong things across. The little difference then of each others control of movement inside ones own country would be up to the people and Gov,t of each country. Maybe then one day all our politicians will allow that vote for change, if change is needed.
Thanks. That’s precisely how it should be, and how i believe the UK government would like to see it happen (despite the US propaganda to the contrary.) So what’s stopping it happening? Oh, that’s very simple: the EU and therefore also the government of the Irish Republic.
And by the way, those running the EU aren’t politicians, but bureaucrats, mainly unelected but with their snouts deep in the EU gravy train which the UK was sensible enough to wish to stop paying into. And sadly, those in Brussels have the Irish Republic over a financial barrel.
My grandfather was born in Kilkenny, so i do have some skin in the game, as the saying goes. He was brought over to England as a very young child by an itinerant family (not his own) because his own parents could no longer feed him – one child too many. And yes, the famines were deliberate and the fault of the UK government. But that was the 19th century, and if we can’t all move on from this constant harking back to past deeds of our forebears, we’ll be overtaken by those who don’t. “A warning from history”.
The famines were awful&many turned a blind eye,but they were NOT deliberate…i.e.caused deliberately.
Please explain what is wrong with this article?
Also, as you have some expertise in NI, please help us to understand what is going on there?
It’s that the interviewees put on a show for gullible English journalists who blow in and out while in private they keep voting for this
and the journalists never question it or call it out.
Start with the last sentence and work back.
I’m sorry but I will need subtitles for the hard-of-understanding.
Why is Unheard a magnet for Paisleybots?
If people cannot learn to live together – the ordinary people this article is supposedly about – then, like squabbling children, they must be separated. If wallowing in the past continues and wrongs are never forgiven – an Irish tradition on both sides of the border is that grudges are passed on like family heirlooms – then there must be separation as was done in India after WW2 or in Turkey after WW1. If these people refuse to move on, then a hard and policed border becomes a necessity. Their choice.
It’s that simple: settle your differences without revenge and move on in life, or move elsewhere.
The rest of the world – apart from the Irish diaspora such as Biden – has had enough of Irish divisions, bigotry and perpetual hatred. I dare say the rest of the UK would be glad to see Northern Ireland handed over to the EU lock stock and barrel to let them deal with it. They’d be welcome to it.
I agree: the fallback to 3 counties (13 districts) in an India-Pakistan style separation would have been a better option in 1922 and maybe viable again if the loyalists cannot move on: I guess west Derry, most of Tyrone/Fermanagh and southern Armagh/Down will join the ROI with swaps of land, businesses, houses etc: so NI becomes NEI: RC churches converted to Orange halls and all things British celebrated in glorious isolation. I don’t know if they’ll get the same kick out of all that with no “Fenians” and “Micks” to jeer at? I’m not really sure what motivates these people: I’m an ROI COI pacifist so it’s all rather foreign to me.
All Hail the New Nationalism
Northern Ireland is like a mini Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. To a degree. Still. A mini-Bosnia could have happened had not soldiers been placed on the streets. (Hence the brief ‘honeymoon’ period for the British army in 1969). The difference between 1770s America and Northern Ireland today is that the colonists in the 13 colonies were seen as British subjects – yet the British, the English, Scots and Welsh, have seen the people of Northern Ireland as Irish. At least that’s how I read it. Or perhaps as increasingly Irish as the Troubles wore on. But I think the capacity between Christian peoples, considering Christianity is based on love, for accommodation and cooperation with each other remains strong. That message tends to become lost too. Has done, you know.
As an Australian with Irish ancestry (Fitzgerald, you can’t get any more Irish than that), who has never visited Ireland (and never will), I say a plague upon both your houses. Learn to live with each other.
Fitzgerald is not really Irish: more Norman (ie English) dating from 1169.. we Irish go back to Newgrage (it was 900 years old when they built the great pyramid of Cheops).. my name means bear (of the plains) extinct in Ireland for 10,000 years.. you Fitzgeralds are Johnny-come-latelys I’m afraid! Fitz is an old word meaning b*****d I’m told. Sorry…
Had Martial Law been declared on day one ,in September 1969, none of this barbarism would have happened.
Sadly the Prime Minister at the time, one Harold Wilson, lacked the courage to take such a decision, and thus lies “moulding in his grave” whilst this nonsense rumbles on into its fifty third year!
How would Martial Law have helped Catholics who had to wait until 1969 to enjoy the same voting rights as their Protestant counterparts. Had they been extended that right, maybe there wouldn’t have been any ‘rumbling’ to begin with.
As you may recall it was Protestant Shankill Road thugs who were causing all the problems in September 1969. Had they been dealt with accordingly it, would have sent a clear, unambiguous message to both communities that feral behaviour would not be tolerated. Sadly that opportunity was missed, thanks to the vacillation of Harold Wilson & Co.
Martial law in itself would not, obviously. But it would have ensured law enforcement while the politics was sorted out. if memory serves, the troops were sent in first to protect Catholics.
One thought the Israelis & Palestinians were to take heart from all the new love in borderless Ireland. Oh well Putin started the land grab? Now China & the whole of Asia.
Can wait for the Mexican >< US Land dispute !
The betrayal was Brexit, or rather the failure to negotiate a Brexit that preserved the maximum amount of freedom of movement of people, goods, and services.
The betrayal came in two parts; Theresa May conceded the ‘backstop’ without discussing trade, based on the EC’s negotiating tactic of introducing ‘sequencing’ not actually included in article 50, and refusing any discussion of managing the border, a border which has existed since 1922 and still exists. As the author says, the currency is £ on one side, and € on the other, a division which the ROI unilaterally introduced in 1999.
The second betrayal was Benn’s act overriding the government’s negotiating prerogative by passing into law that without a deal, there could be no exit. Johnson and Frost did well to achieve what they did, but that agreement is now enforced rigidly by the EU with full support by much of the British media.
A Trumpish, ‘both-sides’ exacerbation of a Tory Party-induced problem posing as some sort of analysis. Utterly stupefying.
A great article I really injoyed the read thankyou Jacob for your input. A very small number of unionist voter’s mainly DUP supporters and hardliners on the loyalist side but the vast majority of the people here support the NI Protocol and voted in favour of it in the NI election 2022. The DUP never supported the GFA and never signed up for the GFA but are now trying to use the wording of the GFA to destroy the GFA
The truth: but not welcome I see..
The real question is why they voted for parties that support the NIP? After all, the unionist vote share was not reduced although it was split. Was it for reasons not to do with the NIP, more local issues perhaps? For stability? Because they would prefer open trade across the Irish border to trade with the UK? Because they want a united island of Ireland?
The NIP could actually be OK. One problem is that it is worded ambiguously and is somewhat self-contradictory and so it can be abused – which is what the EU is doing. The UK Government actually wants to retain the NIP. Its proposals in its white paper to address the actual problems are consistent with the NIP so if implmented, the NIP would stay in place. Perhaps that is why the majority voted for NIP supporting parties (although it certainly isn’t why SF supports the NIP. It sees it as a means of uniting Ireland). But the EU won’t play ball because its aim is not to make it work but to use it to split NI from the UK.
As for the GFA, the EU doesn’t give a rats whatsit because if it succeeds in its land grab of NI (and all the signs are that it will), the GFA becomes irrelevant. NI would be ruled entirely from Brussels with Dublin as the regional government and the NI assembly would have even less legislative authority than it has inside the UK. Hard to predict the future but Dublin would see no reasn for the NI Assembly to exist in a united Ireland with no other devolved administrations so it would probably scrap it.
Do you think that is what the people of Northern Ireland voted for – even less autonomy than they have now and rulers even more foreign and remote and the likely termination of the NI Assembly?