The Nolan show and flower power


Dear God. I’ve just come from having  a, what should I call it, OK,  discussion on the Nolan radio show about…Guess. Cauiflours? No. Leeks? No. Poppies? Yes.

In the babble of voices – all in favour of poppy wearing – my point was that ceremonies are conducted here annually to honour all those members of the British Armed Forces who died in various conflicts throughout the world. Since the poppy had its origin in the First World War, my guess is that that’ s the starting point and it runs all the way to today. Unionists wear their poppy with pride and attend ceremonies where wreaths are laid and soldiers stand to attention and the Last Post is played. Irish nationalists and republicans, on the other hand, see the British armed forces in Ireland, along with the RUC and UDR,  as repressive forces, the armed wing of unionism. Consequently most of them reject the idea of attending ceremonies in honour of those who were part of that repression.

What to do? Let’s give each other elbow room. If you want to wear a poppy and attend commemoration ceremonies on 11 November, that’s your choice. If I decide not to wear a poppy or attend, that’s my choice. Certainly no one, least of all a public body such as the civil service or a bank or a broadcasting organisation should pressure its employees into wearing a poppy if they’d rather not. That’s to encourage hypocrisy: I think this way and even if you don’t think the same way, you should pretend you’re in agreement with me. Why? Because the way I think is right and the way you  think is wrong. The Spanish Inquisition took a similar tack.

That said, I can see a situation where nationalists/republicans might wear a poppy and/or attend 11 November commemorations. It might be done as a public gesture to show that, while not sharing the views of those with British allegiance, republicans respect the right of unionists to honour their dead. The quid pro quo, of course, would be that representatives of the unionist community should attend republican commemoration ceremonies and wear the Easter Lily, to show empathy in the same way.

No commemoration of those who have been killed in conflict should be militarised. No bugle, no marching, no cannon volleys. We should be learning from the violent past, accepting or even honouring those on both sides who died during that conflict, but above all extracting from the past the lesson that we can, if we really want to, find a better way to resolve differences. Military marches or volleys of shots suggest that the tradition of violence which the dead represent is one which should be carried into the future. Was there ever more bloody-minded nonsense?

One caller to Nolan said that if people took the British pound, they should accept the poppy and all that goes with it. “If they don’t like that, they can go and live somewhere else”. Sweet suffering Saviour. No wonder this place is anchored in the past and so much thinking is: Our way or the highway. We’re supposed to learn from the past. You’d never think it when poppy time rolls round.

48 Responses to The Nolan show and flower power

  1. TheHist October 30, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Jude, heard the debate on the radio – very composed as always! One problem in the North is that the poppy has been hijacked for political purposes – wearing it supposedly makes one more British, some wear it to “annoy” the other side and some do genuinely wear it to celebrate Britain’ war dead. Ive often seen the metal poppies that now have paramilitary brands on them!

    I’ve often asked Protestant friends why they wear the symbol and to date I’ve yet to hear a rational reason beyond the notion “these guys fought for our freedom.” This line was used on the radio this morning and by many others seems to be the safe haven when talking of the poppy. As an Irish nationalist it did not achieve the freedom of Ireland. The freedom of small nations argument hit the wall when Irish representation was refused at the Versailles conference. This at a time when the majority of people on the island voted Sinn Fein in the hope of achieving national self determination. Only for the British to subsequently partition the island thus causing long term problems. Could it be argued that British thus prevented the freedom of small nations, as the democratic will of the majority Irish people was for the freedom of Ireland, from British rule?

    Many unionists who claim the freedoms of small nations idea and the fact that we were lucky not to be controlled by the Germany’s etc tend to forget the UVF gunrunning before the war whereby Carson supported Fred Crawford in going out to Germany to procure weapons – in essence unionism sleeping with the devil! That’s not to say Nationalists didn’t work with the Germany’s too, they did!

    I have no problems with the poppy but as you rightly mentioned, when it’s compared against the Easter Lilly, some silly and disrespectful comments are made. In the North we must respect symbols of both sides whether we agree with what they stand for or not! People have a choice and fully entitled to wear the poppy or not! Same as the Easter Lilly. That caller this morning was pathetic comparing watching the BBC to the British pound to the Poppy – I’m still trying to work him out! As long as people like that have a say, then we are doomed in moving forward!

  2. William Fay October 30, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Jude, your blog is riddled with inconsistencies, inaccuracies and you leave your self open to ridicule.
    It’s very nice of you to allow us to wear our poppies over the Remembrance period, that is remembering all who were killed in the war, soldiers in a khaki/camouflage uniform do not wear a badge denoting their religion. I was in Dublin yesterday at UCD, and I certainly wasn’t the only one wearing a poppy, and I didn’t wear it for any other reason than to remember the war dead.
    N I Republicans are the people who are trying to badge it as a Unionist/British event, I’m glad to say, many in the Republic don’t think the same way. Maybe sometime you could visit the memorial gardens at Islandbridge.
    Military marches and volleys of shots do not connote violence, I really do not know what you base your material on. As for the wearing of poppies by the workers of public bodies, these are British public bodies, not RoI companies. Relating this to the Spanish inquisitiion is downright pathetic.

    I actually presume you are doing a ‘Nolan’, and just inducing an argument. Unionists could attend a republican event and wear an Easter lily; I take it you mean attend a celebration by republicans for the murdering of unionists over the last century, and you actually envisage unionists attending that. I’m not referring to soldiers in an army, I’m talking about terrorists sneaking up in the dead of night and shooting their neighbour in the back. Maybe republicans should start attending loyalist commemorations, in fact they could have a combined one, wear an Easter lily on one lapel and an Orange one on the other.

    • Jude Collins October 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Ah sweet William. I can always trust you to raise a smile. “Military marches and volleys of shots do not connote violence”. Mmmmm. I see. They connote…puppies? Kittens up trees? Mom and apple-pie? I’m distressed to hear you were in my old alma mater – I hope you didn’t spread sedition among the student body? As to unionists attending republican commemoration of their dead: it’s a question of respect for difference. If QE2 can do it, shouldn’t her loyal subjects be capable of same?

    • TheHist October 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      William, I refer to an excellent point made by Danny Morrison a few years back “the nationalist community has a much more mature attitude than unionists towards celebrating their History.” You sum this up particularly well when you make reference to Republicans and the Easter Lilly. Queen Elizabeth has illustrated that can celebrate republican dead, why can’t other Unionists? Was she right or wrong to do this?

      • William Fay November 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

        I’m not referring to the RoI commemorations, I’m relating to northern republicans remembering murderers, who were nothing more, or less.

        • Jude Collins November 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

          So you wouldn’t attribute any political motivation to Bloody Sunday or the Glenanne gang, sweet William?

    • ANOTHER JUDE October 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Nationalists have been murdered by the British military and their offshoots for centuries, are WE supposed to wear a poppy in honour of those people? The problem lies in the fact Unionists love telling others what they should or should not think. Gregory Campbell took umbrage (a great word, it just suits him so well…) last year because a professional footballer from Derry of all places would not wear one on his shirt. Maybe Greg wants him and all Derry folk to thank their imperial masters for teaching them a lesson on Bloody Sunday, tough love sort of thing.

  3. Jim Lynch October 30, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Funny all these brave unionists wearing their poppies and insisting everyone else do, refused conscription during WW11.
    While the rest of their beloved UK wear poppies, (and were conscripted) unionists should wear a ‘white feather’ a symbol more close to the truth of their so-called loyalty.

    • pretzellogic October 31, 2014 at 1:14 am #

      Jim Lynch

      Besides the fact that your claims are inaccurate, they’re also insulting and offensive to a particular section of the community. Now you were pretty vocal about people being unnecessarily offensive. So it’s not surprising that you signed your little offensive piece “hypocrites”. Have you ever heard of the term “volunteer”?. I actually hear more people insisting that others shouldn’t wear poppies rather than your assertion that it’s the opposite. I’ll tell you something that has always puzzled me and that is when Germany bombed Belfast why Dev didn’t abandon neutrality. And when the Yanks were in NI preparing for D Day he accused them of occupying Ireland. I always found that a bit bizarre. I’m straying off course here a bit but I think the white feather thing distracted me so.

  4. ben madigan October 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    agree poppy-wearing should be down to personal choice, particularly in the workplace.
    But the brow-beating continues every year, just like the drum-beating in the Marching Season in an attempt to ensure conformity through bullying.

    Since the poppy has long been the preserve of the unionist/loyalist community and is seen by many as a political symbol and a symbol of Britishness representing support for the British Army, I have already suggested

    using a green poppy to commemorate irishmen and women who fell in war while serving in the British Army.

    The post also shows why they joined up and how catholic survivors and widows were treated when they returned home to NI

  5. ANOTHER JUDE October 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Poppy fascism has been increasing in recent years, everybody appearing on the tv has to sport one, the bigger the better. Don`t the Unionists realise how daft they look? As others have already said, they resisted conscription and were looking for weapons from, gasp, GERMANY, supposedly to take on, shock, horror, the BRITISH! The truth of the matter is WW1 was fought to maintain the freedom and lifestyles of small monarchs.

  6. Perkin Warbeck October 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    So all in No-land are och-aye-ing surely in favour of wearing the Poppy !

    Pardon Perkie’s French, but, quel surprise.

    Mind you, it might indicate yet another slow, plodding donkey step on the bendy boreen to an United Eireland. Yesterday, after all, the Minister for the Gaeltacht in the Free Southern Stateen , Heather Humphreys, aka The Happy Warriror, was in Flanders Fields honouring those 200,000 (!) from Eireland who fell in the Great Donkey Derby 14-18. Including them what were riding side saddle. This is a not unimportant point. Even in Erse.

    Neither is the fact that this Minister for the Gaeltacht does not have a couple of fuckles to brace her teeth with: having a mastery or even a mistressy of the lingua franca of the leprechaun is so patently obvious an impediment to the taking of giant steps on behalf of mankind, or indeed, giantess steps on behalf of womankind, it requires no further intrusion on the space or generosity of Esteemed Blogmeister.

    The only issue to be resolved South of the Border down Wexico way is not whether S.F. (aka Smiley Face) will wear a red Poppy in the lapel of her Brown Thomas coat (co-ordination is all !) on Remembrance Day, or rather Remembrance Week which is now showing signs of such advanced pregnancy that it may soon have to be renamed, oops, rebranded as Remembrance Month. Each year the number of fallen Donkey Derby participants from Kitchener Kountry seems to grow exponentially; hence, the elastication of Poppy Day to a Week to a putative Month on (sniff) Liffeyside.

    But rather will she move to have it called Mummy, rather than Poppy Day. It is the final frontier yet to be conquered by the dominant class in Dublin, the Dworkin Class. But, Time, The New Statesman (!), and the Saturday Bumper Edition of The Unionist Times are all on its side. The Farce is surely with it.

    That Valley of the Printing Windows, TUT reported that the monoglot Minister from the Ho Chi Monaghan Trail was in Flanders to announce a new bursary scheme. No, not yet another curse-of-God bursary but rather one with a thing in its tail. A bursary, no less, to (gulp) allow Irish university students to research that field which has shamefully lain fallow for so long, Ireland’s (sic) involvement in the Great Donkey Derby 14-18.(Perkie taps his laptop here from a faltering memory and may not have the exact terminology of the TUT report, but trusts one’s last remaining reader will follow the drift and go easy on the tut, tuting).

    Specifically, the Happy Warrior, the Bobby McGee of giantess step-taking, visited Ypres so her vision for the future will be not only slapping time but clear as a bell as well even as she gazes through the West British-manufactured windscreen at the bendy boreen that lies ahead.

    But she will also take heed, being the careful lady driver that she is, to gawk at regular intervals in her rear-view mirror and see that her predecessor in this noble biz, Garret FitzGerald, was also a dipper into the Flanders back log. Though in truth that speed-talker of Shoneenizm went one step further and dipped into the Flanders and Swan back log. The result was his masterpiece: Towards a Gnu Ireland.

    Perkie is probably certain that the Happy Warrior Heather, ablaze with anglo Irish anguish, will add an epilogue of mistressly panache in keeping with the old-gnu masterpiece.

    Now there are those malevolent malcontents who will query the presence of the Happy Warrioress in Flanders and the absence of the Foreign Minister of the Free Southern Stateen whose gig they would have reckoned was surely his for the taking.

    Perkie is not, ca va sans dire, amongst them. For he knew that Charles Flanagan (cf Charlie Flanangan) – for it is he ! – had an even bigger gig to be digging his heels into in the whirligig of his schedule. Since accidentally taking on his current role he has bestrode the globe like the geo-political colossus he is and has brought to mind what no less a Dwork than Cleopatra once said of the led-astray Antony: ‘realms and islands were as plates dropped from his pockets’.

    In short, the Foreign Minister of the Freee Southern Stateen was in Belfast on a slow day. How does Perkie know this? By perusing the ghostwritten piece in today’s TUT, that paper of record and of record sales.

    And here, let there be no beating about Bush House about it, it is time for Perkie to fess up: he owes Charlie ‘Charles’ Flanagan, TD an apology.

    For a pregnant reason which will soon become a-pparent.

    That it was a ghost witten piece (ghost being the contemporary synonym for spin doctor) was obvious from the large photograph of the leader of a small party in Wee Six: the florid fellow who is the current boss of the SDLP. While Perkie can never quite recall the name of this chap he has no problem at all remembering the name of the party he leads: the Spin Doctor Labour Party. Odd, very.

    No mench is actually made of this minor party during the course of this revealing piece (one crap happy snap is worth a thousand turds) but then neither is any mench made of the other parties either. This being the party line of the FSS Government which is in coalition with TUT (amongst other august organs): a plaque on all your houses !

    In contrast, the formidable For Min did get to mench and mench time out of number (i.e, the mench bark of repetition for the dull of comprehension – his ghost writer had Perkie in mind. Obviously) that he had crossed the b for border. Though it was not mentioned that he had not so obviously crossed it on unapproved roads. As is required by WHO for those travelling from a stateen where the Mayo Clinic has verified is in the throes of E-Bohola. Whose first symptom is that it turns the unfortunate contractor’s shirt a fatal shade of blue.

    Then, came the kicker which so flummoxed Perkie it left him scrambling for an apology – it came so out of the blue. Or rather the red, white and blue.

    The r.w. and blue being ‘the appalling loss of life’ (referring to the Troubles) ‘which led to an astonishing 3,636 deaths between 1966 and 1999’. Note the shock, note the precise number of deaths. Note also the note of celebration, albeit subdued tossed off by his fellow Minister in Flanders and the rather vague cricket score of ‘200,000’ .

    Confucius say: ‘Dubrin government speak out of both side of mouth’.

    But that is where a rather confused Confucius would be wrong, totarry wrong. For then came the kicker: (here the formidable For Min is referring to the outcome of the talks and leaving aside the perfectly understandable reiteration of his having crossed the b for border):

    ‘To reiterate what I said in Belfast last week, it will be by Northern Ireland, for Northern Ireland’.

    Now, de-weasle those words any way you want, and any amount of times you care to do so (and believe you me, the never less than conscientious Perkie has been doing just that, in the interest of dispassionate commentary for which he has carved a unique niche for himself) this can only be translated as:

    -Brits out ! No matter what the local imbibers of Britvic orange may think !

    Mea culpa, formidable For Min, mea maxima culpa.

    And to demonstate that his apology is no mere empathy formula or hollow combo of verbiage, Perkie would like to extend this invitation to the newest convert from a gnu Ireland:

    -Welcome aboard, the Chuckie Wagon, Chuck !

    Don’t push, just shove, plenty of room for you and me.

  7. Norma wilson October 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Hallo Boys
    I am back, just could not stay away.
    I wear (not where ir were) my poppy with full pride.
    I wear it for the two corporals brutally slaughtered. I would have emptied my magazine and taken as many with me.
    I wear it for the three Young Scottish soldiers barely 18, in 1970 the viciousness was there so early on the troubles.
    I wear it for my GrandFather David Close, who volunteered to fight for his King and country.
    But now I wear it because I never knew just how much it annoys yous if truth be known.
    You will see me at the Cenataph and my husband who served in the Royal Navy will be wearing his ( and him a Catholic) last but not least in Dublin on Tuesday, you should be worried they don’t want yous. They want a referendum too, so they can vote no. So here we are stuck with each other.
    One last point Jim Lynch in 1969 I was 15 in the June, not 1919 or 1869 I don’t want a Taig about the place( a word I don’t use) that’s for the lower class like yourself) I was no more interested in what was going on here, or Vietnam, I was interested in style music boys either Catholic or PROTESTANT. You silly silly ( have a big inferiority complex ) boy.
    So come on stop using things from the past.

    • Jude Collins October 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Norma – I’m glad you’re back but less NAME-CALLING…

  8. Norma wilson October 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Now that we have established everything yous don’t like. OO HMTQ Marching Poppies, can you tell me what you do like about PROTESRANTS.

    This will make for interesting reading if Jude puts it up.

    Your Combat Orange Lil what ever keeps yous happy, we are making progress some thought it was Bill…..

  9. Michael Quilligan October 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Let’s bin the notion, once and for all, that WW1 had someting to do with the freedom of small nations – and usually “plucky little Belgium” is given as an example. Begium was a vengeful imperialist colonial power, which a few years before the outbreak of WW!, controlled huge areas of Africa. Indigenous peoples were tortured and mutilated, whipped into obedience, and forced to work on the vast rubbers plantations. I recommend Adam Hoghschild’s ‘King Leoplod’s Ghost’ for those wo might be interested in learning more about plucky little Belgium’s colonial oppression and greed.

    It is also worth noting that the Netherlands, which shares a border, and a language (with at least a large percentage of the Belgium populations) hardly lifted a finger to help its neighbour. It was a stricly enforced neutrality for fear of German wrath. There aren’t any poppy wearers here

  10. Iolar October 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Poppies, Past and Present.

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!/Was there a man dismay’d?/Not tho’ the soldier knew/Someone had blunder’d… .”

    In his book, ‘Ireland since the Famine’, F.S.L. Lyons addressed issues which have contemporary relevance.
    ‘Total war brought with it a readiness to look freshly at old institutions, to look critically at old men who had been in power too long…The shabbiness, the poverty, the lack of adequate schools, houses, hospitals or roads, the ill health, the squalor of the slums…For a moment at least it was possible to believe that the past had been left behind for ever.’ (Lyons 1973:735 – 737)
    It is ironic that as another debate continues about the poppy, the Tory Party continues to attempt to dismantle the Welfare State and the Health Service. It is interesting to read Lyon’s comments about, ‘old men…in power too long’, this on a day, a ‘woman’ reported that she was obliged to use a food bank in order to support her family?

  11. playitagain October 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Todays BBC lunchtime news had a long article on the success of a concentrated British Legion collection in London highlighting just how much had been collected.

    I was under the impression when called to war by Parliament for King and Countru, same king and country had some obligation to support those killed or wounded at their behest, for the rest of of their lives, not hand it to a voluntary organisation.

    We are now reading how this government are falling down on their solemn covenant to the fools who marched off to do their bidding.

    The poppy is not only used as a political tool over here but also in the rest of the kingdom to stir up the patriotism needed to maintain this type of hubristic loyalty.
    Anyone viewing BBC programmes at this moment will be all too aware how poppies are not worn out of individual convictions but because of an edict from above.
    Same as marching soldiers with fife and gun just to enforce that outdated dictum…… “dulci et decorum est pro patria mori”.

  12. Pat Mc Larnon October 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    PROTES(RANTS). Freudian Norma, Freudian.

  13. Norma wilson October 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm #


    You are right, I should not name call! I don’t care what any of your followers think regarding the wearing of the poppy.
    I have entered many a Catholics house with mine on, and ne’er a word commented.
    I would also like to ask you why do you not wear your lily out and about. I would not even notice, in other words it’s your business.
    I have told you all plenty of my business, my Mother Ivy Close was born in 1934, her Father David Close signed up in 1939 joined the Sappers, he never came home, he died a POW in Berlin three weeks before the yanks Liberated them.
    So to Jim Lynch, I do wear the poppy with pride for a GrandFather that I never met. If this offends you, I say I just don’t care, you are easily offended.
    I would say if I was profiling you, republican background, brought up with the hate all PROTESTANT mentality, and probably have never left West Belfast in your life.
    My husband has just came in there, he finds it all amusing. Why would I not want a catholic about the place, I am married to one.
    No you definitely suffer from the small man syndrome. I know who I am, I am proud of who I am, and I bough to no one, ( bar the Queen) I come from a grand race of people, good Ulster stock.
    I hate no one, I tell it like it is, most people who know me, know I am forthright, and not behind the door.
    You would do well to meet up with PK HE HAS CHARISMA, he could charm the birds of the trees, and give you some lessons in diplomacy.

  14. pretzellogic October 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm #


    I suspect it was quite intentional following the recent controversy involving Norma. Probably borrowed from AJ’s PROTESTants a while back.

  15. James October 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Just a word to William and Norma. First of all William, glad you enjoyed your day out in Dublin, wonderful city I’m sure you will agree and the fitting capital of an all-Ireland republic. Strange as it may seem to you William, but nobody of a republican disposition really cares whether you wear a poppy or not, it is your personal choice and I fully respect you for it. You mention that people wearing an Easter Lily are commemorating ‘terrorists’. In wearing your Poppy I am sure you are including in your remembrance the people gunned down in cold blood by ‘terrorist’ members of Her Majesty’s forces in Derry on ‘Bloody Sunday’ That is only one incidence in a very long list.
    Well Norma, first of all welcome back, you were missed! Can you answer a question for me Norma? Why do you concentrate on a person’s religion? I find it very strange that you should be concerned about it. From my perspective as a Republican I can only point out to you that some of Ireland’s greatest leaders were from the republican tradition and of the protestant religion, including Theobald Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Thomas Davis, not to mention Ireland’s first president, Douglas Hyde.
    You see Norma, the beauty of true republicanism is that it is all-embracing, within its folds there is room for everyone!
    Getting back to the Poppy question. surely the British government should be ashamed of themselves letting a charity do its work for them. It does not seem right that those ‘who gave their all’ should have to depend on charity in their hour of need. No republic worthy of the name would allow that to happen to its citizens. Of course I forgot, in a monarchy the people are subjects. A big difference.. .

    • giordanobruno October 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

      James I’m not too keen on labels but I suppose republican fits my views fairly well, just not the kind that goes about killing my fellow citizens.
      Are there, in your view, any republics coming close to the ideal you envision.
      I’m ready to move.

  16. george jenkins October 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    ‘Our way or the highway’……reminds us of the advice offered to all poppy lovers by that fine musical group which entertained at the ardoyne event recently.

  17. Norma wilson October 30, 2014 at 7:49 pm #


    Do you think I am ignorant of the information regarding the men you just reeled off. I believe we have a connection to at least ten presidents of the USA from Ulster.
    I could also tell you it was the PROTEStants that brought St Patrick parade to the states. I could tell you Oscar Wilde was a PROTESTANT.
    But what the hell, we are all being stupid, like tit for tat, I probably have more catholic friends than PROTESTANT
    Did you ask to be born an Irish Catholic, I did not ask to be born a Irish PROTESTANT.
    There is a lot of young prods out there probably don’t realize that we originate from Catholicism. If one of the popes had not been so corrupt and greedy, we might never have protested. Hence our name.
    I use to visit a man in Twinbrook he’s dead now, and many an argument we would have.
    I often wonder why the Palestinian flag is flown in West Belfast, these people hate the Jews, yet you all hold Mary in such high esteem, and Jesus and Mary were both Jews.I don’t like anything about catholcism bar the fact that the doors are always open..if I want to pop in I do, I still recognise it as Gods house.
    My Father in law suffered under Nazareth boys home, he is dead now, but he told of the cruelty. I cried at Philanena I read the book, which as you know is always better.
    How can a church tell an aids infected ignorant Black Country not to wear condoms. I could go on, but I have said enough, The Catholic church has got to much power, and that is not what religion is about.
    Jesus never had a Swiss army, he was born into a humble stable, and died on a cross.
    If we are ever to move on in this country, we had better start to respect each other. I think the OO could start with letting Catholics join, giving them full membership.
    I also think if you want to wear your lily do so, but leave me in peace to remember my dead.
    This is the two things that incense me, that you think I am or was a superior person to a catholic, and of course the favourite not a taig about the place. You are all so well versed in this, do you learn it with your catechism.
    I never knew a catholic until I left school, I could tell you her name now Bernadette from Ardoyne. We are still friends to this day.
    Dublin people are so much nicer than up here, they are a different breed of people, they only care about their standard of living.
    We spoke the other night about the IRA they are not interested, and went on to say this will be shown at the elections.
    If we are ever to change, we need to respect one another, you don’t like all that I love, and all that you like and love is alien to me.
    I have at times on this blog came across as one nasty person, but that is only because yous all managed (not PK) to bring the worse out of me.
    I am a good person, and those that know me, will tell you I would do you a good turn.
    My motto is the truth always comes out, good over comes evil, and G-d has a plan.

    • Pointis October 31, 2014 at 1:33 am #

      Hi Norma, I am glad you are back.

      Many of the things you say on your blog are correct but you frustrate many of your fellow bloggers by labelling everyone who is Catholic or Republican as being the same. One homogeneous group where everyone believes the same thing and follows the instructions of Popes, bishops or priests! I am sure many Irish Catholics would not recognise your description.

      It is ironic that Republicans would be perceived to be far more likely to challenge the power of Catholic clergy to exercise control over employees and children in Catholic schools than would be the SDLP for instance.

      One thing that does unite all Catholics and Republicans in Ireland is they don’t like people labelling them as “yous”!

      • Norma wilson October 31, 2014 at 10:10 am #


        How I have been so stupid I am so sorry, the amount of times. I me Norma tell Prods how not all Catholics are in the IRA and that we need them.
        Take my own family ( my catholic) side they are just like that.
        They got out of a republican area, if I was to tell you what happened to them you would cry. One son did two years, for something he did not do. The IRA said it was best!!! He left soon after release and went to live in England.
        They knew who did it…. He just happened to share the same nick name.
        My Mother in law is the most descent human being there is, and is truly the most selfless person there is.
        She only ended up in this republican area, because she felt it was too dangerous with eight sons.
        I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg.
        She is back living in a private residential mixed area. everyone lives in peace.
        So Pointis I am truly sorry, I can only say sorry once again.

    • Wolfe tone October 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Sorry Norma but you are trying to hard to sound moderate. Your views have method in them ie the subtle an sometimes non subtle message is republicans were wrong an everyone thinks it. If you really knew the irish people they can be cute hoors when discussing politics with anyone even you. If as you say the irish people ‘don’t want us’ up here then they should hold a referendum and say it otherwise it’s all speculation. I personally would like to shine a light on the enda kennys and Michael martins of this world and their stance on unification. How hard would they campaign for a yes vote? It could be a real eye opener, not least for the Irish American population, who they like to fawn after in the states.
      Republicans don’t fear a referendum win,lose or draw. But i bet their opponents fear it more. As a matter of fact why doesnt its traditional enemies lobby harder for a referendum as surely it would be a great opportunity to put the boot into republicanism if the outcome is a foregone conclusion? Surely they are concerned about hurting their feelings? It would surely also be a welcome distraction for those who are implementing water charges and other goodies austerity has planned for us?

      • Norma wilson November 1, 2014 at 10:05 am #

        Wolfe Tone

        In your eyes what is a moderate!

        Can you please answer this question for I would be interested to hear your views.

        • Wolfe tone November 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

          Norma please don’t insult me by implying you are interested in my views. As a self declared lover of a white South africa, a Zionist Palestine and imperial England you most certainly do not want to hear my views. You just don’t have the tolerance. ; )

  18. Norma wilson October 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm #


    Could I be so bold as to ask how old are you? The reason I ask is because not that long ago, the street of Dublin were coming down with beggars.
    I can actually feel your bitterness, and just for good measure, if England sent all the Irish home, Ireland would sink.
    Have you ever tried living, no I mean living? Forget about Ireland son, go out and get a life! Forget about history think about the future.
    Don’t go worrying about things you cannot change, forty years of bombing and shooting, peoples lives lost, children without Fathers, hearts heavy and broken for what.
    Ireland would sink to the bottom of the Ocean, I would not sacrifice one member of my family for it.
    So as a Belfast woman born and bred would say “wind your neck in and give my head peace”. Don’t forget now, I would like to know your age, curious, you know mine, and my real full name.

  19. Ceannaire October 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Norma, no one wants to take your poppy off you or prevent you from wearing it. I think you misunderstand the point of the article. I believe it is a knee jerk reaction.

    Norma – at 7:49 pm you said: “This is the two things that incense me, that you think I am or was a superior person…”
    We don’t think you are superior but you sometimes give the impression you think you are. Hence your statement at 1:50 pm “that’s for the lower class like yourself…”

    Do you see why we get confused, Norma?

    • Norma wilson October 31, 2014 at 10:29 am #


      I used the “lower life”. Because Jim used the line. “Don’t want a Taigs about the place”

      I never never never ever would use that terminology.
      I was 15 a young girl. 15 what would I have contributed to the troubles. I was 15 on the 11th June 1954, I started out to work. I had never even met a catholic until I went to work. This is how innocent I was, my friend at work got to work at around 11 o’clock each day, I was there for nine, I wanted to be a catholic I thought it was so
      unfair and how lucky Bernadette was.
      She had to deal with baracades, I didnt
      What contribution would I have made to not treating Catholics proper.
      So that generation has nearly gone, yet the Catholics still harp on to days long ago.
      My husband adores me, and I him, our love is so intense even after all these years.
      There is nothing as a woman I cannot do, he is lifted and laid, he is a successful brilliant man, who can do anything a man should do.
      So together we are a formidable pair.
      I don’t think any of the boys I grew up with, could fill his shoes.
      We have come through these troubles, the only time we were afraid, was when the bomb went off on the Shankill. When the trick or treat started we thought we could be next, only because we are mixed.

  20. North Munsterman October 31, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Jude – 2 questions :

    (I) could you kindly advise me is it the members of this Army are commemorated by the wearing of the Poppy in Britain and in the north of our country ?
    (ii) are the innocent victims murdered by this Army commemorated in Britain and the north of our country ?

    Caroline Elkins, a professor at Harvard, spent nearly 10 years compiling the evidence contained in her book Britain’s Gulag: the Brutal End of Empire in Kenya. She started her research with the belief that the British account of the suppression of the Kikuyu’s Mau Mau revolt in the 1950s was largely accurate. Then she discovered that most of the documentation had been destroyed. She worked through the remaining archives, and conducted 600 hours of interviews with Kikuyu survivors – rebels and loyalists – and British guards, settlers and officials. Her book is fully and thoroughly documented. It won the Pulitzer prize. But as far as Sandbrook, James and other imperial apologists are concerned, it might as well never have been written.

    Elkins reveals that the British detained not 80,000 Kikuyu, as the official histories maintain, but almost the entire population of one and a half million people, in camps and fortified villages. There, thousands were beaten to death or died from malnutrition, typhoid, tuberculosis and dysentery. In some camps almost all the children died.

    The inmates were used as slave labour. Above the gates were edifying slogans, such as “Labour and freedom” and “He who helps himself will also be helped”. Loudspeakers broadcast the national anthem and patriotic exhortations. People deemed to have disobeyed the rules were killed in front of the others. The survivors were forced to dig mass graves, which were quickly filled. Unless you have a strong stomach I advise you to skip the next paragraph.

    Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women’s breasts. They cut off inmates’ ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound.

    Elkins provides a wealth of evidence to show that the horrors of the camps were endorsed at the highest levels. The governor of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring, regularly intervened to prevent the perpetrators from being brought to justice. The colonial secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd, repeatedly lied to the House of Commons. This is a vast, systematic crime for which there has been no reckoning.

    No matter. Even those who acknowledge that something happened write as if Elkins and her work did not exist. In the Telegraph, Daniel Hannan maintains that just eleven people were beaten to death. Apart from that, “1,090 terrorists were hanged and as many as 71,000 detained without due process”.

    The British did not do body counts, and most victims were buried in unmarked graves. But it is clear that tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Kikuyu died in the camps and during the round-ups. Hannan’s is one of the most blatant examples of revisionism I have ever encountered.

    • Norma wilson October 31, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      North Musterman

      Are you having a laugh!! How far back do you wish to go. Shall we start with the Pope and the Spanish Inquisition, or maybe America with the red Indians.
      Get real, instantly you come across filled with hate.
      I love the British, there straight out, that we island and what it achieved, right across the world. Why my breast fill with so much pride, I feel sorry for you, I bet you don’t even know what I am talking about.
      My Queen is now coming to the end of her life, she is on borrowed time, I shall wail like a banshee when she leaves this earth.
      Her name sake Elizabeth 1st was also a great Queen. But I know you have not got a baldy clue how I feel.. But I bet you any money if it’s a public bank holiday here with pay, there will be a lot of hypocrites about.
      Kenya don’t start me, I have read several books on it, I wonder did they give the IRA some tips in guerrilla warfare.
      Need to go expect a call from me tonight I will make a point of visiting you, to put the Heebe yeebes up you. Well it is the only time I get to knock the cob webs off my broom.

    • Norma wilson October 31, 2014 at 11:01 am #


      11TH NOVEMBER 1987

      Don’t forget this day, a wee town Enniskillen
      Try to equate it with KENYA, look how many were butchered that day. Fellow Irish on his own fellow Irishman. Hang your head in shame, and keep it hung, you should not even have the chutzpah to even mention the poppy.
      It offend you, well this offended me big time.
      Some sad deluded Irish man sat there that day, and primed that bomb to go of, when people are honouring there dead. How disgusting is that, could you go any lower.
      Yes, for in 1997 they went on to kill babies still in their mothers wombs.
      Don’t start me, I have dates in my head that are forever lodged there. The land of the Saints and Scholars, my auld grannie from Newry would oft be heard to say, along with ah to hell with poverty God bless the Pope.
      What happened, they were on a round about and they forgot to stop. A lot of people died for nothing, my family came through it untouched.

  21. James October 31, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Hi Gio, thanks for the reply. Could I put it to you that if we, the nationalist and republican community, could convince our separated brethren in the north-east of our country that, as fellow-Irishmen and women, their place is with the rest of us, then we would have a republic which, with a bit of hard work, would perhaps come close to the ideal which you are aspiring to.

    • giordanobruno November 1, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      I agree in principle, but you slipped a pretty big “if” in there.
      However my point was in relation to your comment to Norma about the British government’s treatment of its citizens
      “No republic worthy of the name would allow that to happen to its citizens.”
      So I was hoping for an example of a worthy republic, though that may be a bit unfair of me!

  22. James October 31, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Norma, thanks for the reply. Regarding my age, can I just say that I am a quite a bit older than you, hope that satisfies your curiosity. I wish everyone called me son, your comment brought a smile to my face. All your comments are very interesting and I assume are deeply held convictions. Just one thing Norma, as I frequent Dublin quite a bit, I would be very pleased if you could point me in the direction of the evidence for your comment ‘not that long ago, the street of Dublin were coming down with beggars’.
    Its just that it does not tie in with my experiences, but perhaps I was not in the same part of Dublin as yourself.
    By the way Norma, bitterness is not part of my make-up, so I am a little disappointed you should think that. However, each to his or her own..

  23. neill October 31, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Perhaps just perhaps people can look the other way and let people respect what they believe in.

    If people want to wear the easter lily good ahead it doesn’t affect me in one iota and if people want to wear the poppy that’s fine with me as well but please don’t rubbish the army they have done some things which are unpleasant as have all armies sadly however if it wasn’t for British US and Russian armies we simply would not have free speech and freedom many people paid the ultimate price for that and for that reason alone that is why I am supportive of the poppy and what it stands for.

    • Pointis October 31, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

      Neill, I think you are being a little unfair. People here have voiced their own opinions on wearing a poppy and what they perceive that it represents but nobody has suggested that others should not be allowed to wear it. You cannot have failed to see the shift in the Republican position in recognising those who lost their lives in the first and second world wars!

  24. Ruaidri Ua Conchobai October 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    I can’t believe, annually, our society continues to indulge in these tiresome circular poppy debates.

    Wearing A Poppy
    Wear a poppy if you want people, and out of respect I shall refrain from expressing my view on the subject. However, if you presume to pressure others into wearing or respecting the poppy then you open-up a debate which invites opinions you might not like to hear – do you or don’t you appreciate this point Norma and William Y/N?

    Fighting For Freedom
    I’m sick to the back teeth of hearing the shallow British state propaganda nonsense “our fallen fought to free small nations and for the freedoms we enjoy today” blah, blah, blah. Did the “great war” seek to free our small Irish nation from the clutches of the evil British empire. Did we Irish vote to join the UK Union in 1800 Y/N? Did a majority of we Irish not in 1918 vote to signal our desire to be free of this evil imperial British state so cherished by Norma, William and Neil et al?

    Remembering Terrorists
    The poppy represents British RAF forces who engaged in deliberate acts of no-warning carpet bombing of cities such as Dresden, slaughtering in excess of 200k civilians – is this the “terrorism” of which Norma, William and Neil are quick to speak on this blog site?
    The wearing of the poppy includes remembering British armed forces who fought here in Operation Banner. Those same British forces murdered numerous innocent Irish children, women and men…

    Remembering Slaughtered Innocents
    If the evil British state ever starts holding annual commemorations to remember the great many millions of innocent souls it slaughtered across the globe then, I shall stand in respectful silence beside you Norma, William and Neil… until then…

    • neill October 31, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Aye your a great defender of innocent souls unless of course there are called Maria Cahill it says it all when even SF disown your blog.

      For sake off fairness you could have mentioned the US Airforce dropping Hydrogen Bombs on Japan strange you didnt….

  25. Norma wilson October 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm #


    You have made me happy, and there’s me calling you son. James could we not accept we are different, and think different.
    I am not being big headed here, I know you would love me if you met me. I am a really out going person, I could talk to auld Nick.
    In fact my husband is the opposite he is shy blushes tho not so much these days. I use to have some fun with him, when we were young and getting to know each other.
    Ah, my wee innocent country catholic boy, he met me city and prod, and I soon sorted him out.
    The United Ireland is coming, you would be a fool to think otherwise. We just have to stop taking pops at each other, I am happy to live anywhere, as long as it’s in peace.
    I brought my children up the same way, half my family that’s all my family, not just my siblings are all mixed.
    So to all of yous peace out. Tho I still am cross with Jim Lynch, and Ben Madigan, this house is coming down with books.

  26. ANOTHER JUDE October 31, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Reading Norma`s posts, it is really no wonder we had thirty years of war in the north, with such bitter and bigoted attitudes. She is obviously a very angry woman. Norma, the people you and your Unionist friends regard as the good guys, Nationalists see as the bad guys and vice versa.

    • Norma wilson November 1, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Another Jude

      Would you dry your eyes, you silly silly little man. I can assure you I have contributed nothing to thirty years of troubles. ( but I could soon rectify that if I had you in arms reach, for you have made me angry)!
      What is your problem, what ever it is go and see the Doctor, there might be a tablet for it.
      I am a unionist, that’s right, you want me to change who I am. This is what I was born into, none of it my making. Having said that if it was united tomorrow who knows how it will pan out. But don’t you call me bitter, you have no right or no business to say that, it’s a pity we could not line up our past in front of us, I bet I would get a shock. You my dear would get nothing, for there is nothing. I don’t even have a blemish.
      Stop and think what you just stated, the seriousness of that statement, and you wonder why the North is polarised.
      If being bitter, means your annoyed that people with their hands dripping in blood can ride rough shud over descent people, then you are right I am bitter.

  27. Jim Lynch October 31, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    neil; I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are ignorant of the facts.
    First of all hydrogen bombs are a thousand times more powerful than
    Atomic bombs. (No hydrogen bomb was ever used)
    It was atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    But I will agree with you that action should never have happen.

    I spend 3 years in Japan with the USAF and I can guarantee you no one who was stationed with me ever felt comfortable about the above situation myself included.
    Yes even after many years had passed.

    • Norma wilson November 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm #