Raymond McCreesh park: let’s not honour those who take innocent life


So Tom Elliott  is pushing for a law making it illegal to name a public place after a terrorist. This follows on the naming of a play-park in Newry after hunger-striker Raymond McCreesh, who died in 1981 along with nine other republican prisoners.

The Prime Minister in the government which refused to accede to the hunger strikers’ demands and effectively ensured their deaths was Margaret Thatcher. You probably remember her. In case you didn’t, there’s a bronze statue to her inside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. She is remembered for many things, including acceding to requests to torpedo the Argentinian cruiser  Belgrano, at a time when it was sailing away from British forces and represented no threat to them. A total of 323 Argentinians died on board the Belgrano. In the north of England Margaret Thatcher is well remembered for destroying mining communities with her policy of pit closures. When she died people there held parties.

Another famous British Prime Minister was Winston Churchill. There are statues to him throughout the world, including one outside the BBC Television Centre and one in Parliament Square. Churchill gave the order for the bombing of such German cities as Dresden, in which approximately 135,000 were killed, many of them burnt alive.

There is a road in the Belfast area name Prince Charles Way. Prince Charles is Colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment, which was responsible for the deaths of 11 innocent people in Ballymurphy and a few months later  14 innocent civilians in Derry.

Raymond McCreesh was captured after an attempt to ambush some British soldiers. He was said to be in possession of a weapon that was used in the sectarian killing of 10 innocent Protestant workers at Kingsmill. Whether McCreesh himself was present at the killing of the workers no one knows.

For those who believe that the taking of innocent human life is reprehensible and that those guilty of such deeds should not be honoured in any public way, logic must drive them to be equally strenuous in their efforts to have removed statues to such figures as Churchill and Thatcher. “Ah”, you say “but Thatcher and Churchill weren’t honoured for killing innocent civilians, they were honoured for other great deeds during their lives, like rallying the British people against Nazism and hauling Britain out of the 1980s recession”. True. Just as Raymond McCreesh is honoured, not for his IRA activities but for his courage and conviction that resulted in his death on hunger-strike.  But then, that’s no doubt a major reason for Tom Elliott’s campaign against his memory.

A final point. The decision to name the park after McCreesh was taken by a democratic vote in Newry Council. Just as the decision to fly the Union flag on designated days only was taken by a democratic decision in Belfast City Council. Unionist reaction shows how much respect there is for democracy among unionist politicians when it doesn’t deliver the decision they want.

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79 Responses to Raymond McCreesh park: let’s not honour those who take innocent life

  1. neill March 2, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Name the park after him all you want if people in the area think he is a hero that’s their business in my humble opinion that however says a lot about them though naming a child’s playground after a convicted criminal

    Now at least we can see how far SF`s policy of reconciliation stretches to which I am sure has surprised very few people still what else would you expect from a party that has convicted criminals and those who allow rape and child abuse at the very top of the leadership chain?

    • PeadarW March 2, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      Would Billy Hutchinson be considered a “convicted criminal” in your world?
      Because loyalist politicians and members of the LUP community who vote for him and his UVF linked party seem to hold him in high esteem.
      In case you missed it or conveiniently forgot Huntchinson was convicted of the murder of two innocent men simply because of their religion,what else he got up to we can only guess.
      You see criminals don’t go on hunger strike it takes a person of incredible personal strength and conviction to sustain such suffering which is why we hold Raymond and the other nine men as Irish heros.

    • Pointis March 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      The Nazis categorised the French resistance fighters during WW2 as criminals!

    • ANOTHER JUDE March 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      What about the Westminster paedophile ring that everyone knows has been covered up by the British establishment? What about Kincora? The people who have had streets and even whole towns named in their honour (Craigavon, God help us…..) were no friends of the Nationalist people, nor working class people of both shades. We are as entitled to honour our war dead as you are.

    • Ceannaire March 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      Neill, while I disagree with your stance, I understand where you are coming from. While you see Raymond McCreesh as a criminal, it is obvious that the local people of that area most certainly do not. Perhaps if you spoke to them they might tell you why they feel as they do.

      I hear so much criticism from Unionists/Loyalists about Sinn Féin’s ‘policy of reconciliation’. OK, that’s your right. But where is the Unionist/Loyalist ‘policy of reconciliation’? At the moment, there is none there to criticise or laud.
      Let Unionists/Loyalists show the way on a ‘policy of reconciliation’, just to show the rest of us where we are going wrong.

    • Mick Early March 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

      Ray McCreesh was never a criminal to a large sector of the population. His courage and commitment to equal rights and justice for all, that even includes you, is why his people ahve chosen to honour him. SF has never allowed or condoned criminal or abusive behaviour by anybody. Nor do we as Republicans condone discrimination against anybody, black, asian, gay, whatever, which is a lot more than you or your kind can say.

      • neill March 3, 2015 at 7:33 am #

        You are taking the piss i presume Mick read what you wrote and consider how much of it was true.I suspect you might regret what you wrote.

    • Ryan March 2, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

      At least Sinn Fein has a policy reconciliation, Neill. What has Unionism done to reach out to Catholics? Nothing. Nil. Zilch.

      If you think reconciliation means that Sinn Fein and Nationalists will now disown their politics and point of view and accept a warped Unionist version then you and Unionism are going to be very disappointed Neill.

    • Ray March 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      SF’s SF`s policy of reconciliation stretches to this:


      And this:


      As well as things like this:


      Let me do a quick search for the unionist equivalent…

      • Ray March 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

        After a long search. Results returned: Nil.

    • Liam mackel March 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

      Selective condemnation is a sad fact of life in this part of the world. So a bit of what abouterie is required to even things up. You mention the Republican movement dabbled in a bit of rape and murder And you condem them for such acts that’s rich when the British indulged via M15 the RUC special branch and the British army in wait for it Rape and murder so come on at ,East. E fair!

      • Jude Collins March 5, 2015 at 9:10 am #

        Liam and everyone else – please highlight by referring by name to the person you’re responding to. I know it says who it is at the top of your post but it’s clearer if you include their name in the post itself. Go raibh maith agaibh – thank you all.

  2. Cal March 2, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Out revenge shall be the laughter of our children. RIP brave Ray McCreesh.

  3. James March 2, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Neill, at least Sinn Fein has a policy of reconcilliation, you said it yourself. Point me in the direction of the unionist policy of reconcilliation.

  4. Westofthebann March 2, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    I think it was Lisburn council that in recent years has built an extravagant memorial to the UDR and placed it in the centre of town. An organisation notorious for its actions against those of us from the nationalist / republican community. Unionists such as Neil on this forum berate Sinn Fein and state how they aren’t intetested in reconciliation. Not one unionist I’m aware of has come out and criticised Lisburn council for its commeration of an organisation that caused so much hurt to my community. But as we have seen time and time again, unionism and its supporters only believe in the myth of “IRA bad guys, Crown/State forces good guys”. To me and hundreds of thousands others from the 6 counties, Raymond McCreesh is a hero. No matter how much the likes of our own Neil or Tom Elliot may spew their venom, that belief will never never never change.

  5. fiosrach March 2, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Neill, you normally make points that seem fair and reasonable – to a unionist. Lets look at the terminology. Firstly “convicted”. By whom? The same system that convicted the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4? The system that used paid informers and martial law? Secondly “terrorist”. I presume your definition would be someone who causes terror – usually in a defenceless civilian population. So lets agree – no public buildings etc named after terrorists. No bridges or new ‘cities’ named after traitors and gun runners. Nothing named after the Saxe Coburg Gothas. No public land donated to build statues to Jeffrey’s gang. And certainly no leprechaun language on public vehicles paid for by British taxes. That cover everything?

  6. Iolar March 2, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    Swinging the lead

    This matter raises important questions about inequalities, oppression and democratic rights as different individuals and groups have conflicting perspectives on language issues. In the context of cultural oppression and inequalities one has only to reflect on the imposition of just some of the names throughout the north of Ireland, King, Queen, Prince, Duke,Windsor, Nelson, Waterloo, Balmoral … . Mr Mandela explained how his native name was changed to Nelson, in the course of his first day at school.

    Bobby Sands obtained a democratic mandate much to the chagrin of Mrs Thatcher and her colleagues. In 1981 the Iranian government officially changed the name of Winston Churchill Street where the British Embassy is based to Bobby Sands Street. According to one press agency at the time,

    “British nationals employed at the embassy don’t want to be located in a street named after a man whose organisation brought terror to the UK.”

    The response of the British was to seal the entrance to their embassy on Bobby Sands Street and knock through the wall into Ferdowsi Avenue.

    In January 2004 it was discovered that during the third of five trips to Iran by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over the course of the previous two years, Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi had been lobbied by Straw to change the name of Bobby Sands Street.

    Meanwhile now that we are discussing the name of a park with references to ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’, perhaps thought may be given to words spoken with parliamentary privilege which resulted in the deaths of citizens in this part of the world. Perhaps we might reflect on honours bestowed on members of the parachute regiment in the context of the massacre in Ballymurphy or Bloody Sunday in Derry. Perhaps it might be useful to consider the role of the UDR? It is a fact (de Silva Report 2012) that many members of the UDR were also members of terrorist organisations. They were assisted in murders by MI5 and the RUC Special Branch with finance, intelligence and stolen weapons. It is a matter of fact that secretaries of state, officers in the British army, politicians and civil servants were aware of the sectarian nature of the UDR. There is more to this park than meets the eye.

  7. Am Ghobsmacht March 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Dr C

    If Tom’s bill comes through and we can’t name places after people like Churchill or Thatcher then fine, I doubt many people outside of Planet Willie Frazer or the Caleban would bat an eyelid.

    The Prince of Wales one is a bit tenuous I have to say. He’s colonel in Chief of many regiments including the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

    Furthermore his appointment to the Para position happened years after Bloody Sunday, not during, so, give the guy a break.

    Finally, the balaclava-wearing elephant in the room (for me) is this:

    SF say they want neutral spaces and equality etc.

    To borrow from a similar posting over on Slugger:

    “”We need to respect the right of all citizens to celebrate one’s culture and identity in an acceptable manner, while recognising and respecting the perceptions of those who may view such displays as overtly sectarian, intimidating and indeed threatening in nature.

    Failure to do so, perpetuates division and instability.”


    “2. No paramilitary flags, displaying symbols or names, and regimental military flags (e.g. Parachute Regiment) on display in public places….”


    The following is the definition of the word ‘paramilitary’:

    ” paramilitary



    adjective: paramilitary; adjective: para-military


    organized similarly to a military force.

    “illegal paramilitary groups”


    noun: paramilitary; plural noun: paramilitaries; noun: para-military; plural noun: para-militaries


    a member of a paramilitary organization.”

    Raymond McCreesh clearly fits the 2nd part of the definition.

    Should you not be demanding that they stick to their ‘principles’?

    This always descends into a ‘well what about unionists?’ row, so let me point out that I don’t support any of the main unionist parties so don’t try and dump their crap at my door.

    The only way out of this is to concede that they have clearly breached their own principles or start some sort of lawyer-like argument about the definition of ‘paramilitary’ vs ‘paramilitarist’ or the even flimsier ground that it is fully fledged sign and not a ‘flag’.”


    I know you think SF receive an unfair amount of stick and that much of it is unwarranted hence you’re forced into defending them a lot and thereby giving perhaps an unfair picture of your politics to unionists et al who just assume that you’re a shiner (I don’t automatically believe that, I’m neither sure nor bothered as to whom you vote for) but in the interests of being fair and calling people out on hypocrisy surely you’re morally obliged to call SF out on this one?

    They have violated their own pledges and principles and the only arguments that they or their advocates can muster are long winded whatabouteries.

    Surely they need something more solid to attain the moral high ground?

    They have said one thing and done another.

    That’s the bottom line.

  8. michael c March 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Anyone who knew Raymond McCreesh would know that he would never have taken part in Kingsmills.During the troubles the same weapon could have been used by literally hundreds of different people.Thirty thousand people served jail time during the troubles belonging to the various Republican factions.Does anyone seriously think that they were all issued with personal weapons.

  9. Wolfe tone March 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    I don’t like the fact that terrorists like Tom Elliot can have a say on matters that impact on us all but I have to take it on the chin and ‘move on’. That’s democracy for you. And before anybody retorts, ‘what if there was a park named after Lenny Murphy,ginger baker,billy Wright or johnny Adair,how would I feel then?’ I can honestly say I would welcome it. I would welcome it because it would open people’s eyes and people would learn what type of heroes the unionist community extolled. It would enlighten people that this community views a throat cutter,castrator and torturer is a hero and indeed a soldier. Comparing people who joined the IRA and took on a conventional army against all odds, with people who joined an organisation that’s only objective was to kill any Catholic they could find is laughable. Deep down I confidently predict most middle of the road people would agree that the IRA were more justified and honourable than that other lot.

    • pretzellogic March 3, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

      Wolfe tone
      Loyalist killed Catholics. Republicans also killed Protestants. I was reading an article on Bik McFarlane recently that stated 90 Protestants were killed by republicans between 74 and 76. The fact is republicans were engaged in sectarian killings as well as military targets. Bik himself was convicted of five sectarian killings. He was also CO of the IRA prisoners during the second hunger strike and was not allowed on hunger strike for that reason. I don’t wish to get into the play park debate but Raymond McCreesh was convicted of attempted murder which is what Lenny Murphy was convicted of. I doubt if you’d have to step out of republican groupings to find a throat cutter and torturer.

      • Wolfe tone March 3, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

        No doubt ‘republicans’ killed Protestants during the last conflict of that there is no doubt. The law of average says Catholic fundamentalists probably used the Republican movement to vent their sectarianism. I also believe genuine republicans wouldn’t have deliberately targeted a Protestant just because they were a protestant during the conflict as it counters all what a republican should stand for. You see the objective of a republican is to unite the people so it would be counter productive to do anything to harm that aim. Obviously they were not successful but that doesn’t mean genuine people within the movement tried to promote that aim, albeit, they may not have realised what they were up against ie sectarian members within their movement and British dirty tricks?
        As for Lenny, well his aim was easy to understand from a military standpoint. You see unlike the republican, whose aim is to unite the people, Lenny et al objective was to instil sheer terror on a people by being brutal as possible. It’s an age old tactic the British invented and encouraged here and in other hotspots around the globe, of which I am positive you know?
        You know as well as I do, that if the IRA were responsible for the romper room activities we would have numerous Nolan debates demanding republicans explain why. Alas very little is said about this topic as it would take away from the current narrative that the IRA were the cruel bloodthirsty killers and everyone else were not as bad.
        Put it simply, one needs the support of a people to realise his ideology; the other doesn’t need or care for support to realise his ideology. Chalk and cheese. It’s simple common sense chap.

        • pretzellogic March 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

          Wolfe tone
          I happen to know what true Irish republicanism is. Its easy to quote the lofty ideals of republicanism and claim the IRA killed Protestants because as you say there were unwanted Catholic fundamentalists among its ranks. Going on what you’re saying the IRA etc were not republican organisations, as there are too many dead Protestants to prove that. Modern Irish republicanism is a far cry from 98 and, Wolfe tone, as your name suggests, you should be able to see that. I mentioned Bik earlier and again from what you’re saying he should have been expelled from the organisation. He wasn’t because that was part and parcel of the “war”. Why give me three paragraphs on loyalist actions – I didn’t dispute that. What you do and you never stop is accuse unionists of precisely what you do yourself. And it wasn’t chalk and cheese as you put it but rather tit for tat. No need to try and be smart either with your parting shot because you are far from it.

          • Wolfe tone March 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

            One doth protest too much. I can’t answer whether the IRA got involved in tit for tat neither can you unless you were with them when they decided an attack? But again you know totally what the objective of the British side is when they find themselves confronted by rebels? Just like the nazis adopted when they surged through Eastern Europe, it was comply,don’t dare resist, or die. If they did resist then terror would be visited upon them.
            The amount of Protestants the IRA killed is no poof at all because I am led to believe they killed many Catholics as well? Please explain.
            Going by your allegations, the IRA were wasting time and energy and their lives by going to the bother of attacking brit army helicopters,barracks etc…….did they think that’s where all the Protestants lived?
            Just for a bit of fun, seeing as you ‘happen to know what true irish republicanism is’, will you share it with me? And will tell me what you like about it? Will you urge everyone to practise it?……And perhaps if you don’t want to waste any of our time,will you just tell me why you hate irish republicanism full stop, be that the wolfe tone variety or today’s?

          • pretzellogic March 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

            Wolfe tone
            Well as you say you can protest too much. I’m not going to run around Nazi occupied Europe to establish that the Provos were involved in sectarian killings. You have already established that in an earlier comment. You’ve also pointed out that the Provos were not adhering to true Irish republican ideals when involved in sectarian killings. The argument that they also killed Catholics is a non-runner. It’s about as weak an argument that could possibly be made. When someone says that it betrays the fact that they not a true Irish republican. Anyway helicopters and Barracks – I don’t suspect they were looking for Protestants there. They knew where the Protestants lived. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that I’m not bound by you to prove whether or not I love or hate Irish republicanism. Like you say the true object of Irish republicanism is to unite people and frankly you’re lacking in that department. You’ve an overt hatred of unionists and the fact you use the term “waste our time” suggests to me that you’ve delusions about which views are actually valid on this site.

          • Wolfe tone March 4, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

            You answered my questions although you might not have realised you did……simply by what you didn’t say.

          • pretzellogic March 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

            Wolfe tone
            Wow, how profound, Wolfe.

      • Pointis March 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm #


        Are you claiming that from reading your “article on Bik McParland” that you determined that 90 non-combatants who were Protestants were targeted and killed by the IRA in the North in the period between 1974 and 1976?

        That would seem to be the impression which you are trying to give anyone who reads your contribution on the thread, maybe you should add a citation?

        • pretzellogic March 4, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

          It was on the Wikipedia on Bik McFarlane. And yes that’s what it states. I checked it again there and it says 90 Protestant civilians killed by the IRA between 74 and 76 in attacks similar to Bik’s.

  10. ANOTHER JUDE March 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    What a pathetic piece of grovelling by Alban McGuiness on the View, he all but went down on his knees and licked the boots of Danny Kennedy, the same Kennedy who as a member of the sectarian Orange Order is more than happy to celebrate slaughter both at home and abroad, of course the slaughter in question was carried out by his side so that`s ok. Raymond McCreesh is a hero to the Nationalist people, he fought against British rule and gave his life for a better tomorrow. There are literally hundreds of street names in `honour` of British pirates and brigands, people who were hated by Nationalists, people who were involved in all manner of skulduggery. Danny should wind his neck in. As for Alban, maybe he should reinforce the knees of his trousers as he seems to be spending a lot of time down there.

  11. Freddy Mallins March 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    Was he a criminal, Neil? Whilst I respect your opinion and will defend your right to make it, can you honestly say that a criminal would give up his life for the cause in which he believed? Does a criminal ever believe in anything so vehemently so as to offer up his precious life? That’s what this lad did. I think it might be a concept alien to violent loyalist.
    It is, I believe the reason why Unionism is so spooked by the Maze project. How to credibly argue that it would be shrine to terrorism when all it would do would let people decide if those who gave up their lives for a cause ( whether one agrees with it or not ) could in fact be designated common criminals.

  12. Mary Jo March 2, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Neil, I must disagree with your suggestion that Sinn Fein is among “those who allow rape and child abuse” – It has been admitted by Sinn Fein that the IRA, during the NI Troubles, found rapists and child abusers among their ranks. The IRA dealt with these criminals within the limits of the powers (mostly illegal powers, terrorist powers if you like) available to them at that time. They did not have the ordinary access to police services, courts and prisons that would be available to victims and communities in a normal, peaceful society. So they drove the evil ones out of N. Ireland, punished some more severely than that, may even have shot culprits dead, who can tell?
    Maria Cahill was just one of the victims who discovered she could not expect redress from the RUC. They were a legal but nevertheless anti-Catholic force at that time, exercising extra-legal powers and far more interested in interrogating the young victims who approached them, than in helping them.
    The “Irish Independent” is orchestrating the Sinn Fein rape/paedophile allegation against Sinn Fein and using Maria as their poster girl. It is a disgraceful campaign, more particularly because it is causing far more damage to victims like Maria than it does to Sinn Fein.

    • giordanobruno March 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

      Mary Jo Drove the evil ones out of Northern Ireland?
      Where to? Where are they now?

      • neill March 3, 2015 at 9:00 am #

        That though had crossed my mind…

      • Mary Jo March 3, 2015 at 10:58 am #

        To Giordanobrune and Neill – the IRA drove abusers out of their own communities, quite possibly leaving them free to prey elsewhere. What resources did they have to deal with abusers in the longterm? Certainly they must deal with them now and report any known abusers. So far as I know, from reading between the lines of the Independent, that directive has already been given to Sinn Fein members. Victims need closure, not manipulation by biased media.

        • giordanobruno March 4, 2015 at 11:09 am #

          Mary Jo
          Poor old IRA struggling with resources.
          If only there had been some kind of social services back in those days they could have given the names of abusers to.
          Or if only there had been a sympathetic priest they could have given the names of abusers.
          If only there had been some kind of police force on the other side of the border, they could have given the names of abusers
          If only there had been some kind of phone service or even a postal service in existence way back in the 70s 80s or even 90s they could have anonymously passed on the names of abusers.
          If only they had listened to Gerry Adams,so concerned about Mairia Cahill that he went to Joe and asked him to persuade her to go to the RUC.
          If only…..

          • Pointis March 4, 2015 at 5:01 pm #


            A bit of frustration slipping into your sarcasm there!

  13. Paul March 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Typical Unionist nonsense response, naming a park after the Famine Queen tells us about Unionism and its partisan / tribal attitude to everything.

    • Am Ghobsmacht March 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      Paul, you’d have a point if the Empire/unionism was about ‘neutrality’.

      It was not.

      SF allegedly are.

      SF have given themselves and extra rule to adhere to.

      They are not adhering to it.

      The Empire and unionism had no such rules.

      This is a key difference.

      If you believe in neutrality then act neutral, if you don’t act neutral then drop the mask.


  14. Antonio March 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    Will Elliot’s bill pass through the assembly? Most likely all UUP, DUP, TUV, UKIP and Alliance MLA’s will vote in favour of it which means attention will turn yet again to the S.D.L.P (and Steven Agnew who abstained from the SPAD bill vote).

    Sinn Fein will vote against it but as I understand it they are one MLA short to enforce a petition of concern which would effectively block it. So with S.D.L.P support for the bill or even an abstention from voting (that would be ironic) the bill would pass and it would be illegal to name places after IRA men/women.

    So what will the S.D.L.P do? It will be very interesting to see in the coming weeks and months.

  15. Mick Early March 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Flawless logic, thanks!!

  16. John Connor March 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    Well now Jude, you’ve stated what everyone already knows surely, it’s not like Unionists to shy away from hypocrisy now is it?

  17. Ryan March 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Edward Carson was a gun runner, does that mean his statue must now be removed from the grounds of Stormont?

    The Viscount Craigavon was guilty of setting up an illegal terrorist paramilitary group, will Craigavon now be renamed?

    As Jude mentioned the British Army have committed numerous atrocities against innocent civilians worldwide, will all those streets named after them, statues in their honour, etc all be removed and changed?

    Queen Victoria presided over the Irish “Famine” and her inaction (plenty of evidence to show she and the Brit Gov deliberately pursued policies which would be labelled as Genocide today) which caused the deaths of 1 million Irish people, will her statue be removed from the grounds of Belfast City Hall now?

    Unionists have to realize that their blatant hypocrisy is not going to be tolerated anymore. Two can play this game.

  18. John March 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    ‘Convicted Criminal’ you say. Ah but who convicted him? Who deemed his actions to be ‘criminal’?

    One is minded of a certain Pontius Pilate who convicted Jesus Christ as a common criminal didn’t he?

  19. Perkin Warbeck March 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Not for the first time have the unfortunate thoughts of Tom Elliot been found, as the saying goes, ‘wandering abroad and in obvious distress’.

    But one can nevertheless tell alright where he is coming from.

    The breathalysed boulevards of Ballinamallard.

    Contrary to a common misconception, the name of this imperial gem of a hamlet has nothing at all to do with duck a l’orange. Rather is is derived from the curse o’God leprechaun in which it means ‘ford-mouth of the curses’.

    Mallard, it would seem, fits the, erm, bill rather better than mallacht.

    Planted in the early 17C when Lord Mountjoy was teaching the terror of their ways to the local errorists like Hugh O’Neil by dint of a campaign in which global warming appears to have played a role of some significance. Certainly, if one is to judge by the constant references to his scorched earth policy.

    Mounty first effected an amphibious landing on the shore-line of Londonderry-to-be with the aim of spreading Joy to the bleak world of the recalcitrant aborigines, and to the exclusion of Danny Boy-to-be.

    Things amphibious were rather the fashion during the reign of Lizzy the Lizard (the original of the species). Indeed, Lord M. owed the gig to the favour which his dashing young looks found with Liz. Bit of a lounge-lizard was Old Liz, by all accounts.

    Should Tom Elliot ever find himself in Dublin, that toddlin’ town, he’d discover that there are a Street, a Square and a Jail there named in honour of the Mounty who always got his Joy.

    Even if the Square has seen more better (soccer speak) days. The park within is far worse than its kite which is mostly flown by the local Chinese community.

    And as for the Georgian architecture: it has been allowed to suffer dental decay to such an extent that gaps have appeared, due to brushing and flossing being neglected. Mountjoy Square now looks now like Shane McGowan’s Uncle George was the architect.

    The less said about Mountjoy Jail, the more better perhaps. Its grim, grey walls on the banks of the Royal Canal have lost their pebble-dashed young looks long ago while its old (very) triangle has also long lost its ability to raise even a semblance of a jingle. Jangles are a thing totally of the past now.

    Which is unfortunate because in fairness to Lord Mountjoy,obviously, at the end of the day, he did change his tuna before he decamped to Blighty on board the Mail Boat at Kingstown,having become rather addicted to Dublin Bay mackerel by then. By then also he had begun to produce his A-game, A for Amnesty.

    Free pardons were being tossed hither, tither and yon among the peasantry, in not by Lord Mountjoyhimself personally, but by his minions, serfs and vassals, which is what they did.

    Thus, the concept of ‘there being one for everybody in the audience’ and which the Late, Late Show at a later date made its own, though in a different context, is sourced back to Lord Mountjoy. From Mounty to The Mountebank, one might say.

    If Tom the Farmer of Ballinamallard were to bite the pullet and come south to Dublin that toddlin’ town he would find a city where a man might be seen to dance, to dance with his wife. Romeo and Julian, in fact, tripping the light fantastic.

    And the local police force, far from the Coldstream Guards some of his more entrenched fellow Unionists have portrayed them to be, are warm-hearted and of the laughing variety, not least to those of a LOL persuasion.

    He might, indeed, be even tempted to toss his bowler hat into the ring the next time there is a vacancy in Arus an Uachtarain / Taj Meehawl. Escpecially now that the precedent for a vesifier as incumbent has been set.

    Perkie’s inner poetaster has always wondered at the extra ‘l’ in his surname. A little delving below the surface has enlightened him on the topic. He need wonder no more.

    Poetry, Tom Elliot felt, would not play well with the Farming Folk of Fermanagh whom he represents so staunchly. And he lived in dread of being mistaken for another Tom Eliot (with one ‘l), the Anglo-Catholic chap who won the Nobel Prize for having the biggest knocker on his door, or was it was his poetry? T.S. Eliot.

    Yet, all is not prosaic in the social circles of the Garden Centre Circles of Official Unionism in Ballinamallard:

    The ladies come and go
    Speaking of Massey Ferguson-o.

    One could easily envisage Tom Elliot romping home, as the Uncle Tom vote in the Free Southern Stateen is increasing, exponentially year on year. (which is not be tried at home).

    He would certainly have the vote of Perkie’s inner poetaster, if for no other reason that the lip-smacking prospect of Tom Elliot, poet/president reciting his own verse at the inaguration in the otherwise splendid surrounds of St. Patrick;s Hall in Dublin Castle, that toddling pile.

    I will grow old……….I will grow old
    I will wear the bottom of my trousers rolled.

    • Jude Collins March 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      I chose and left, chose and left, Perkie, but this one took the cigar: “The ladies come and go
      Speaking of Massey Ferguson-o.” Oh my sainted aunt – we are as far from worthy as Ballinamallard is from Ballina…

  20. neill March 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    Well folks you might not like or agree with what i have said and thats fair enough however
    Am Ghobsmacht who i normally dont agree with has made some fair points in my opinion any chance of you answering them?

  21. neill March 2, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    BTW how would you feel if i called a playpark in North Belfast the lenny murphy playpark you would be rightly horrified now look what has happened in Newry and ponder?

    • Antonio March 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      that animal Lenny murphy was no equivalent of McCreesh

      • Neill March 2, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

        Oh he was all right don’t kid yourself

        • Ceannaire March 3, 2015 at 1:52 am #

          I say fair play to you, Neill. You come on here and argue your point. And it helps most here understand that there is a different point of view out there. It may not change minds, but it helps others understand where you are coming from.
          In saying that, I feel that you refuse to see things from a different angle (without having to change your opinion). The other opinion to you just doesn’t exist and nor should it.
          And, as a Republican, I find that Unionist mindset hard to understand. I believe that mindset will be the undoing of Unionism.

          • neill March 3, 2015 at 10:10 am #

            I fully understand the republican perspective on this in fairness I just don’t like it.
            My perspective on this is a quite simple on this I don’t like causing offense to my neighbours if people in my community were purposing to do something that caused offense to my catholic neighbours I would do my very best to prevent it happening.

            What annoys me about Sf`s attempt at reconciliation is that push comes to shove they just revert to norm if they believe in reconciliation they have to prevent things like this happening again.

            As for unionist reconciliation I don’t believe political unionism is designed to do this led by the UUP however normal day to day unionists are well down the line at reconciliation partly because they never fell out with their catholic neighbours and many times helped them and defended them in rougher times.

            As for the Hunger strikers I don’t wish to airbrush them out of history if they have to be honoured honour them in approiate ways in graveyard statues naming SF branches having cultural talks or shows but to name a childrens play ground doesn’t seem to be the right way to do it at all

          • Am Ghobsmacht March 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm #


            ” I believe that mindset will be the undoing of Unionism.”

            I do too, hence I’m impotently screaming from the sidelines with my poor man’s Cassandra Complex….

        • Antonio March 3, 2015 at 10:26 am #

          ….maybe you do not know much detail about Lenny’s UVF butcher gang….

          • neill March 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

            they killed people as did the IRA what’s the difference?

          • Antonio March 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

            Read Martin Dillon’s’ the Shankill Butchers’ and you will find out significant differences

  22. Patrick Fahy March 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Tom is hoping that SDLP will not join SF in Petition of Concern so that Bill will go through. Wouldn’t like to bet on that either way. Of course it is deeply hypocritical of Elliott. Politica unionism must continue with the lie that the 6 county statelet is democratic when the world knows it is not and never was. They have no interest in accomodating Irish nationalists, so have no need of a policy for reconciliation. Incidentally, they kniw for a fact that Raymond Mc Creesh was never linked with Kingsmill by any section of police or British intelligence. But it suits their agenda to use whatever means they can to denigrate us. What was it Bobby Sands said about our recenge. Coming their way and who can be sorry for them.

  23. Norma wilson March 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    Well still the same shit different day!

    Decency, common good old fashion decency. The thread running through the lot of you is repugnant. A bit like this record they are bringing out. I also believe you can down load it. To hell with Carol Black, and the death of her husband, by catholic sympathisers.
    Prince William was in Japan this week, they were very welcoming both parties. The Irish sicken me to my back molars, they never forget or give up. They are the first out with the begging bowl.
    Name the park whatever yous like, you will anyway. We really deep down don’t have anything in common with you’s truely.

    • ANOTHER JUDE March 3, 2015 at 12:15 am #

      Now now Norma, your opinions may be rather rubbishy but it is a bit much to call them `shit`.

  24. neill March 3, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Norma i suspect the average Nationalist and Unionist Catholic or Protestant in Northern Ireland are very alike with the same fears worries and aspirations.

    You are quite correct Norma on this this point though that an average unionist would have nothing in common with the average contributor on this blog.

    • Wolfe tone March 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Oh here we go again with this oul ‘average unionist’ thingy. I thought we covered this already? Rabid unionists masquerading as moderates. Yawn.

      • neill March 4, 2015 at 11:30 am #

        Well at least you can never be described as a moderate by any stretch of the imagination

        • Jude Collins March 4, 2015 at 11:34 am #

          Neill (and others): could you (as they now say) name-check the person you’re addressing, as it isn’t always clear. For example I could be misled into thinking you were referring to me when you said “you can never be described as a moderate”. I know you would never hurl such an insult at me but do identify who’s your targ…I mean fellow-conversationalist…Same goes for everyone else.

          • neill March 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

            Sorry my fault it was directed at Wolf Tone

        • Wolfe tone March 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

          Neill, Thanks,believe it or not I take that as a compliment

          • neill March 4, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            That wouldnt surprise me wolfie!

  25. michael c March 3, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Pat,I have no doubt the SDLP will support Elliots bill.Sir Alisdair McDonnell was on Radio Ulster this morning and made it clear that that they will.He also had the brass neck to say that the McCreesh family were being hurt by all this and blamed SF for that hurt.He also indulged in the most cringeworthy attempt to curry favour with a journalist that I have ever witnessed in my life.At the start of the interview he expressed sympathy with Noel Thompson on a recent bereavement ,which he could have done privately at any time.However by using a live interview to sympathise and before a single question was asked he obviously hoped that he would get an easy ride.

  26. Francis March 3, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    AG, while Neill usually engages the sour grapes reactionary hue of Unionism, and Norma, well am short of words to describe her contributions, though not many words would need employed to answer such hot air(I make no apologies for my condescension of Norma given the thin veil that usually or not masks a blatant sectarianism/racism for which I or most people of reason have little time), her lack of depth or insight would shame an Afrikaner with her arcane slants. Yourself on the other hand deserve respect as a progressive and thoughtful observer from a traditional background not typical of most on this forum. Your point on the King to be is a valid enough one I think, though honorary titles and their symbolism is not an inert arena in Ireland as in many part of the world where the residue of Empire still leaves a bitter taste in aboriginal mouths. The Indian Parliament held a minutes silence of respect for Bobby Sands MP. They would not replicate such a reverential gesture for Churchill or any other luminary of the British Empire who begrudged them their liberty.
    The statue at Stormont of the gun running, (traitor) Lord Edward Carson stands glaring down on all the democrats from whatever tradition as they muster for more attempts at governance in this compromised artificial statelet. I have a close relative going back two generations prior who was Murdered by the UVF in 1923 by one of his imports in a naked Sectarian Murder, whilst Pograms where still taking place in Belfast. Should I object to Carson dominating this pivotal shared space given the part he played in arming such terrorists,- simple answer, Yes. Is there a bill proceeding through Stormont for its removal given this Brave New World we are behoven to embrace,-No.

    Whataboutery has become a fashionable word and its dismissal as a concept endorsed among the great, good and wise wherever progressives are wont to meet. It is however not so simple a concept to dismiss as many jump to at first glance. The shared spaces of most of the City are named after objectionable acolytes of Empire wherever you go. Towns around the north of Ireland are named liberally after such criminals, depending on whether or not you view grandees of bloody Empires as Criminal or Terrorist? I view them as the latter but my radical sensibilities run along the lines of the great Englishman Tom Paine or visionary social progressive and hater of the British Empire William Blake.

    It is not a personal slight to Unionists that I find reminders and celebrants of Empires objectionable and distasteful….I likewise cannot find any benign Empires no matter where I’ve roamed in the history books. Perhaps Santa has a harmonious relationship with his minions in Lapland, but here in la la land such regimes are the stuff of myth.

    As neither a monarchist AG, and most rational folk these days in Ireland and Britain are waning in their approval if such piffle, nor a nostasgiser for a lost Empire, I am surrounded by these reminders.

    The tradition of Republicanism, anathema to Monarchy, is a proud one I’d argue. Its goals of unity of progressive peoples seeking a new consensus in an enlightened era crossing all artificially fostered sectarian frontiers to join people together a laudible one with a noble lineage in Ireland dating back to the founding Fathers of Republicanism here in the 1790s, the directory mostly Presbyterian, though some Anglicans and Catholics filling up the ranks to challenge this Empire openly in arms. Aa in all armed contests, the excesses on either side, though unmatched in extent never the less existed. So to with the last Republican campaign, which was as much about social injustice as Unity in Ireland, people lost their lives who shouldn’t, (if it is ever good for people to lose their lives!) but War happened and the allignments on the various sides viewed themselves as justified in engaging it so.

    Thankfully there is a more pragmatic way to advance the noble cause of Republicanism, I speak unapologetic to anyone for my disposition as one, and War is obsolete thankfully. Should we be allowed to remember our Dead in places where we with pride view the sacrifices of visionaries who offered the ultimate selfless sacrifice for this cause,-Yes. With Empire celebrated everywhere which we have to put up with, we are entitled to parity of esteem where we can remember our dead with equal reverence.

    • neill March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      Oh the wonderful irony Francis of that last statement I am sure will not be missed by many!

    • Am Ghobsmacht March 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm #


      These place names are a bit like the rings of a tree trunk, they hint at what was going on at that time and place.

      The imperial names are now utterly accepted by nationalists as deliberate acts of lording it over the locals, the impression is that all Catholic Irish were as hostile to the British Crown and Empire as they are now.

      Surely it’s better to judge those times and circumstances on their own merit rather than view them from the prism of 20th/21st century nationalism?

      There is a (in)famous film reel showing Irish soldiers leaving Cork city to head to the Western Front. Cork is bedecked like the Shankill road in July.

      If Nationalist or Catholic animosity to the Crown was as undiluted then as now then such a sight would not have been possible.

      There have been many ruptures between Britain and Ireland to bring unionism and nationalism to such polarised stances as they are now, ergo we can’t believe that either unionists or nationalists back then shared the viewpoints of those today.

      I don’t think the past fashion of imperial place names is a comparable water margin for McCreesh Park.

      Rather I think the Walker monument on Derry’s walls was more fitting.

      Okay, not as gloating or overlording as Walker’s monument was but it was not erected with any sensitivity, neither was the McCreesh Christening.

      And again, SF have clearly said that they are sensitive to offence and perceptions of offence.

      McCreesh Park is a clear contradiction of this sensitivity.

      You either want neutral spaces or you don’t. If you do, then propose neutral names. If you don’t then drop the façade of neutrality.

      I do want neutral place names so I won’t abide any modern naming of Price this, Queen that, Duke whatshisface or the rebel Jonny Yuma.

      But I don’t advocate whitewashing history or placenames because political opinions have changed and don’t retrospectively apply.

      • Antonio March 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

        There is a (in)famous film reel showing Irish soldiers leaving Cork city to head to the Western Front. Cork is bedecked like the Shankill road in July.

        Yes Perfidious Albion promised Home Rule to the Irish Nationalists while promising Unionists there would be no Home Rule. Let’s not pretend Irish catholics en masse were great lovers of Britain and its empire – the did it because Redmond promised them the world if they fought for Britain (as well as a lot of other lies about a war to end all wars, nuns raped by the 1000s in beligium, and it’ll all be sorted by christmas)

        While promising home rule to the nationalists Perfidious Albion was promising the opposite to Unionists.

  27. frazzo March 3, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Boy oh boy isn’t this just what unionists do best. They do love to remember previous conflicts, even so much so they still commemorate a 400+ year old one. Even the less British over there don’t hang on to the likes of Trafalgar.

    This is what they do best. terrorist this, terrorist that. Them’uns, them’uns. I especially love it when they find some concern for the poor ketolics who suffered from Republican violence. I’m sure they equally as concerned for the ones that fell at the hands of their proxy agents but I must have missed the news that day.

  28. Mick March 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    The fact that this is even an issue just goes to show the lack of respect Unionism have for SF and Republicanism in general not to mention Catholics.

    Volunteer Ray McCreesh was and continues to be an Irish hero both North and South and in numerous foreign countries. There are streets named after him in far of lands. When the 1981 Hunger Strikes were on going the WORLD looked on in horror at what a British Prime Minister was allowing to happen and showed their disgust in the form of demonstrations and rallies….peaceful rallies (thank God the Para’s weren’t anywhere near them).

    Most IRA volunteers worked tirelessly for their communities. When not trying to defend their communities from the Brits and Unionists/Loyalists. They were helping people in their own communities. You can believe that or not but its true. I suppose the best demonstration of this was when the Loyalists were stood behind a wall of British soldiers above Ballymurphy on the Ballygomartin Road and began shooting down into the estate. It took the IRA to defend the people of Ballymurphy and put themselves between the Loyalist/British mob and the people. Needless to say the Brits did nothing to help the people of Ballymurphy and in fact from eye witness reports were seen firing the odd round themselves.

    Unionism and Loyalism have always been caught up in their own wee world in Northern Ireland and now are clutching at straws to try and hold on to their own wee colonial rule for themselves. Digging their heels in and fighting every last bit of ‘Irishness’ doesn’t work anymore and by crying about a park being named after an Irish hero shows just how horrified they are that no one listens anymore because its all pure selfishness spouting from ‘them thar lips’.

    Again I ask this, who’s reaching out to who when Unionism is complaining about a park being named after an Irish hero yet they have monuments and statues, murals and dedications for murderers, rapists, colonial backstabbers and hypocrites.

    At the end of the day this park is in a Nationalist community, used by Nationalists who look up to Volunteers Raymond McCreesh for what he is……a national hero!

    • giordanobruno March 5, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      Are you sure you are not thinking of Bobby Sands?
      I haven’t heard of any Raymond McCreesh streets in far off lands.
      On your final point,if you can see that Unionists over the years failed to reach out to Nationalists why can you not see that this playpark naming is just the same?

  29. neill March 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    This I think explains it al


  30. Am Ghobsmacht March 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    The main counterpoint to the McCreesh park is that during previous regimes places were (as was the fashion back then) named after imperial figures.

    To use this as a foundation to justify McCreesh is a shaky one indeed:

    1/ Neither the empire nor the Orange state were about outreach or equality; SF claim that they are, that’s a big difference that not ONE nationalist or supporter of McCreesh has addressed either here or on slugger o’toole.

    2/ SF and the IRA claim that such actions were oppressive and disrespectful. If that is the case then why mimic these very actions that they were opposed to?
    The only sane answer to that is ‘revenge’ for one cannot claim any kind of moral justification when embarking upon the path of a keenly felt wrong.

    3/ How many of these street names were as offensive then to your average Irishman as they are now?

    Irishmen fought in their tens of thousands for Queen Victoria.

    I put it to you all that there has been a cultural shift of sorts.

    To give you an example, a friend of mine wrote a thesis regarding just this very thing regarding his locality in Croatia.

    His area once upon a time was very proud of its contribution to the ‘Partisan’ resistance in WWII, the local units were mixed with Croats, Serbs and whomever else.

    Come the Balkan wars of the 90’s things changed:

    Partisans = socialists, socialists = Yugoslavia,

    Yugoslavia = SERBS(!).

    Ergo, the Partisan heritage of everyone in the area was reversed.
    Young nationalists started retrospectively supporting the ‘Ustashe’ (nationalist, Catholic,anti-Serb, anti-Semitic, fascist puppet government) despite knowing that their grandfathers fought for Tito along side other religions and peoples.

    This is a kind of blanket cultural ‘paint job’.

    The Ulster Protestants have done it with their Gaelic, Celtic and indeed Irish heritage.

    I submit that nationalists, though obviously never in their history endeared to the British royal family have nonetheless done something similar.

    Understandably given the fighting between Irish people and Crown forces this past century, but it does smack of retrospectively applied offence and is not a faithful cross-section of that time and place in history.

    But to suggest that all those imperial street names that can be found all throughout the
    commonwealth (including pro-republican places like inner suburban Melbourne) are as deliberately eye-poking as SF’s McCreesh move is not even comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing apples with bags of flour.

    It is unfortunate that unionist politicians are taking the lead on this issue as their indignation only makes the name of the park all the more appealing as wounding political unionism has a certain eye-for-an-eye flavour to it given how much political unionism goes out of it’s way to defend practices that are offensive to nationalists.

    I understand this but it does not justify this move.

    If you wish to defend McCreesh Park then just be honest and say it’s about an eye-for-an-eye, not equality or neutrality, for it clearly does not fit into either category.

  31. Morpheus March 5, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    I can’t help but winder if Tom has thought this through.

    CAIN have published a list of monuments and memorials in the Belfast area alone


    Taking a quick nosey at East Belfast shows us numerous examples of monuments on public land which I assume would have to go in tom’s Bills. Take this one example from the many provided:


    This is for convicted terrorist Robert Seymour, among others – and there’s a full history on Wikipedia. I wonder how the locals will take to the sight of the bulldozers coming.

    Because this is all about providing a neutral environment for all, right Tom?

  32. Catholicus March 5, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    It was a terrible blunder calling the park after him. The pros and cons of Churchill etc are neither here nor there. The Troubles are recent and there here and calling a park after a hunger striker was stupid and insensitive to a whole range of people. And then digging in and defending the decision is stupider still.

  33. patrick fitzsimmons March 14, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Nothing ever changes, tit for tat excuses for memorials from either side with more on this one.There is a time and a place for everything and a childrens park isnt the place.
    Recent tv show and the sinn fein member was asked why they had kept the name which some would find offensive.The reply was “ITS OUR AREA”.So much for neutral environment.
    Is there not already a memorial for McCreesh where those who choose can go and visit.
    Whether the gun linked to Kingsmills was used by McCreesh in that atrocity or not he was part of a group that was.Thats what the other community finds offensive and the memorial to the 10 innocent protestant workmen being senselessly vandelised.Perhaps the park should be renamed Kingsmills,it would do a lot more for reconciliation than the current one.