About last night

I was on The Nolan Show  last night and had the privilege of shaking hands with Alan McBride before the programme began. I thought he looked pale and tired; little wonder, given the memories that must have been stirred for him and others on the twentieth anniversary of the Shankill bomb.
The programme dealt with the subject sensitively, I thought.  In fact, the film clip of the immediate aftermath of the bomb, intercut with interviews with those like McBride who had lost loved ones and shots of those they had lost, was harrowing. A shot of a child, with all her life possibilities cut dead before they could properly start, another of Alan McBride’s wife in her wedding dress were almost too painful to look  at. I’m assured that the families find solace in viewing such clips and remembering that day of loss. As someone fortunate enough not to have lost immediate family in the Troubles, I found them painful as a knife. 

I had a chance to speak briefly during the programme. I tried to say something of the above and to add that with regard to the plaque to the memory of Thomas Begley: that’s what armies do. That’s what cenotaphs are about, that’s why all those names are listed in stone, that’s why there are poppy-laying ceremonies on Remembrance Day. There are people here whose loved ones were taken from them by the actions of the British armed forces who must accept that other people see these forces in a different way from them. Likewise, painful though it may be, the people of the Shankill have to accept that the Ardoyne community and particularly the former comrades of Thomas Begley see him as someone who died in a cause which they honour. Until we can accept these different loyalties and give each other the emotional elbow-room to express them in a quiet, dignified way,  we’re on the road to nowhere. 

17 Responses to About last night

  1. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Disgraceful apologia for terrorism yet again, Jude.

    Show me a plaque for soldiers involved in terrorism during the Troubles.

    • Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      the monument to the UDR in Lisburn

  2. Jude Collins October 24, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Sorry you read my article that way, Anon 09:21. Maybe read Anne Cadwallader’s ‘Lethal Allies’…

    • Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      I presume you refer to collusion.

      Show me a plaque that commemorates a soldier involved in collusion with terrorists.

    • Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      The Cenotaph remembers those who died in wars. It’s got nothing to do with Bloody Sunday.

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Cenotaph pays tribute to actions of British armed forces. Are republicans not allowed to do likewise?

    • Anonymous October 25, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      The Cenotaph pays tribute to the long list of fools who had their lives swindled from them, for the lie called democracy, at the behest of jewish bankers,who continue to create wars and divide nations, in order to enrich themselves. Every time you buy a poppy or attend one of these gatherings,you genuflect to the power of this cabal of thieves, unknowingly, because they’ve even stolen your power of reasoning!

  3. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    I have a feeling that tomorrow’s post is going to be about her book.Of course I could be wrong!

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Not just could – are…

    • Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Mea culpa!!

  4. Cuchulainn Ghobsmacht October 24, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Mr C

    I see the point that you’re getting at, I really do.

    But in a case of civil strife (or war, that’s how some see it) there has to be some dispensation for the parochial nature of the conflict.

    Many Bosnian Serbs saw/still see their Chetnik Militia boys as soldiers and were/are prepared to write off what they did as part of the war process (thankfully raping and looting as far as I’m aware has never been a hallmark of Irish warfare).

    But as a tourist, if we were to come across a Chetnik memorial within plain sight of Sarajevo, well, we’d rightly feel ill at ease.

    So, to use your varying perspective modes; on one hand a memorial to dead comrades and soldiers on the other hand a massive 2 fingered gesture to their victims, the surviving ones living in the scarred zone nearby.

    To compare a Begley plaque to a cenotaph is a tad unfair.

    Begley’s victims are within walking distance of his plaque.
    The same cannot be said for the victims of Bomber Command.

    The Army of course, well yes, too many, but how many memorials have been erected within spitting distance their victims? Not so many and indeed probably most of those would be UDR memorials,
    Not ‘quite’ British Army.
    Another suggestion where Loyalists and Republicans would be united in outrage.

    A better comparison for Begley’s plaque would be the Parachute regiment flags that Loyal morons have been erecting in Derry.

    How was the show? I can’t get it down here not even on youtube. Ragin’.

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      GC – If your interpretation of the Begley plaque is accurate I would be totally opposed to it. But although I can’t be certain any more than you I am convinced it’s not intended as two fingers to anyone. Can people in the Shankill see this plaque? I’m open to correction but I doubt it. It’s true that the victims of Bomber Harris’s boys aren’t within walking distance of his statue – but (one example) the victims of Bloody Sunday are most definitely within walking distance of the cenotaph. Some people see it as near sacrilege to make the comparison but actually at heart both are doing the same thing: keeping alive the memory of those who fought and died for what is regarded as an honoured cause. One important difference worth noting: the cenotaphs throughout the north are build to remember and honour ALL of those in the British armed forces who died; the Begley plaque is for one person. I thought the show was quite tasteful in its treatment of the Shankill bomb. I still can’t understand how relatives and loved ones find some balm from the replaying of scenes and pictures of those killed – I literally had to look away at times.

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      PS If you must be formal it’s Dr C 😉

    • Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      The Cenotaph remembers those who died in wars. It’s got nothing to do with Bloody Sunday.

    • Cuchulainn Ghobsmacht October 25, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Dr C (I didn’t know about the Dr bit, apologies if I seemed disrespectful)

      I doubt if they can see the plaque, however all the window dressing that came with can not be interpreted as anything but offensive (‘family’ commemoration my left foot, if I understand correctly there’s not a mention of the man’s family on the plaque – open to correction though).

      Of course, when it comes to offending people in that neck of the woods the Loyalists of that area aren’t exactly innocent either.

      But I do get stuck into them about it too.

      As for the cenotaph point, I just posted a counter point on your other blog.

      I hear you loud and clear on the images.

      I’d have to look away too.

    • Jude Collins October 25, 2013 at 10:12 am #

      C G – interesting points. I think you’re being a bit hard. I accept that republicans may have highlighted his role as one of them but then most acts are performed for more than one reason. In this case I’d be reasonably sure that the Begley family derived some solace from their son being remembered.

  5. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    There were somber scenes on Belfast’s Shankill rd yesterday as local people came out in their hundreds in memory of the 1993 bombing when people were savagely cut down. One elderly man with a tear in his eye said he hasen’t seen such an out pouring of grief since the funeral of serial killer Lenny Murphy.