Paper tigers and the real thing

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.53.34

 

Picture by jared fein

It appears DUP councillor Brian Kingston has his knickers in something of a twist.  He’s unhappy about two things –  the fact that the Wolfe Tones played until after 11.30 pm at the Ardoyne Fleadh, but worse -they sang a song that included the phrase “Ooh, aah, up the Ra!”  “They sang this line ‘up the Ra’ in front of a large crowd of impressionable young people at both the Féile on Saturday and the Ardoyne Fleadh on Sunday” Mr Kingston says.

Brian Warfield of the Wolfe Tones says he thinks Mr Kingston needs something to keep him occupied. “If someone wants to go and sing The Sash, no problem, in fact we have two records with The Sash mentioned. People should be more concerned about the problems in their city than a song.”

Mr Warfield has a point. The IRA are a defunct, ex-,  deceased, no longer existing organisation. So while Mr Kingston may find the lines grating, it’s a fair bet that no one in the audience will be persuaded towards IRA violence by the phrase.

In fact, if Mr Kingston finds time heavy on his hands, he might want to check out some of the murals, signs and flags in working-class unionist areas over recent weeks. There he’ll find flags honouring the UDA, the UVF, the UFF.  He’ll see murals depicting hooded loyalist gunmen with the slogan ‘Prepared for Peace, Ready for War’. Unlike the IRA, the UDA and UVF and UFF would appear to be functioning organisations. There was even a mural urging young people to join up, telling them it would be better to die on their feet rather than live in an Irish republic.  An ooh or an aah over a defunct organisation is dwarfed by this open acknowledgement that illegal paramilitary organisations exist and that they are urging young people to join them. When Mr Kingston has addressed that, then I’d say most people would take his concern over oohs and aahs and Ras  more seriously.

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40 Responses to Paper tigers and the real thing

  1. Iolar August 11, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Today we have security alerts hot on the heels of a weekend which cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds policing contentious marches. We have the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond talking about “marauding” African migrants at Calais and Yvette Cooper, a Labour leader candidate calling for United Nations intervention at Calais. Perhaps the UN should be called in to deal with the political ineptitude at Stormont. Perhaps some people just cannot read the writing on the wall.

  2. billy August 11, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    who was telling you the ira is defunct,

    • Jude Collins August 11, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Rev Harold Good and the late Fr Alex Reid

  3. Sherdy August 11, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Did Mr Kingston have anything to say about the Protestant man who was literally crucified last week by his mates in the UDA, who nailed his hands to wooden planks?
    Has he called for the disbandment of this vile, brutal, drug-dealing organisation?
    If not he is just a bigoted hypocrite!

  4. Neill August 11, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    The IRA defunct best joke of the day keep it up Jude!

    • Jude Collins August 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Have you evidence to the contrary, neill? If so, please share…

      • Brian S August 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

        I think the murder in Shortstrand and the bomb in Palace Barracks confirms the IRA are still active and have not decommissioned.

  5. Ryan August 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    As I’ve said before about the DUP: “If Hypocrisy was an Olympic Sport the DUP would win Gold every time”. And that’s the truth. The hypocrisy of this party is truly amazing. But there again you can hardly expect anything positive from a political party founded by a bigoted, anti-Catholic, fundamentalist, protestant preacher.

    Given the DUP’s involvement with shadowy terrorist organisations such as “Ulster Resistance” and “Third Force”, is anyone really surprised that they are very quiet about drug dealing, terrorist gangs such as the UVF or UDA? If my memory is correct, many a DUP politician, such as Sammy Wilson and Peter Robinson, even carried UDA members coffins and Ian Paisley even did sermons at their funerals. Then, of course, we have Ian Paisley’s many anti-Catholic, hate inspiring, rallies and speeches, which many a UVF/UDA terrorist later said motivated them to join loyalist terrorist gangs and murder innocent Catholics at random.

    So you see, the DUP don’t complain much about the UVF/UDA because its obvious they don’t mind them that much, as their history clearly shows.

    (The Media also shoulder a lot of blame in all this. They have consistently refused to effectively challenge the DUP on many of these points or very rarely have. This is in comparison to the repeated references to the past when it comes to Sinn Fein.)

  6. giordanobruno August 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    Why is anyone singing ‘up the ra’ in 2016? Moving forward eh!

    • Jude Collins August 11, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      Why is anyone singing Bouncy Bouncy/ The Billy Boys, etc?

      • Neill August 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        Jude you could have answered young gios question shameless whataboutery lol!

        • Ryan August 11, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

          “Shameless Whataboutery lol!”

          Careful! Don’t laugh so hard Neill, you might swallow your tongue!

          Now now Neill, your not going to go all DUP on us, are you? Your last comment (or more specifically rant) to me was one big hypocritical “whataboutery” companied with justification for the massacre of innocents by Cromwell.

      • giordanobruno August 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

        Jude
        Is your answer ” because themmuns are doing it too”? Sad.
        Surely we can aspire to better?

  7. giordanobruno August 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Or even 2015. Doh!

    • Neill August 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

      That is a very good question gio perhaps Jude could answer that?

      • Patrick August 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

        Perhaps you could try answering a few questions that have been put directly to you Neill before you give off about others evading questions.

        I asked you numerous times to explain how the creation of the northern irish state was democratic. No answer. I asked if you supported the calls for Basque independence. No answer.

        Perhaps maybe now you will do so?

        • Neill August 12, 2015 at 9:05 am #

          It was absolutely democratic as the Unionist people knew their religious and civil liberties would be curtailed history has proven them to be correct.

          1937 Catholic constitution No Divorce a state controlled by the Catholic church the Unionist people were quite justified in not wanting to be part of a state that would openly discriminate against them.

          • Patrick August 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

            So the setting up of the Northern Irish state was democratic because a minority within the country feared that they would have been discriminated against? Is that seriously your answer?

            What about the fact that the majority of citizens of Ireland were against the creation of a Northern Irish state? Wouldn’t that lend credence to the argument that it was undemocratically created?

            What about the fact that said state then proceeded to discriminate against a large section of its population throughout the next half a century or so? Have you accepted that reality? Does that bother you at all?

            So since you say that “unionist people were quite justified in not wanting to be part of a state that would openly discriminate against them” would you accept that nationalists were quite justified in not wanting to be part of a state that did openly discriminate against them?

  8. michael c August 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Billy ,there is currently a handful of micro groups masquerading as the IRA and are a complete laughing stock as far as the nationalist community are concerned.Jude is entirely correct in saying that the IRA is no longer operational since Seanna Walsh publically announced that a few years ago.

  9. TheHist August 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Celtic Symphony, written by Brian Warfield in 1987 for the 100th Anniversary of Celtic FC. Its taken Councillor Brian Kingston the guts of 28 years to condemn the lyrics of this song – im assuming he isnt a keen Wolfe Tone listener, or collector of the albums!

    Brian, even by your standards, this is a bit embarrasing – you seem to be going out of your way to be offended! Reporting your concern to noise control, when no doubt Brian attended 11th night bonfires that go on until the early hours in his area – and lets not get started on the sectarian bonfires of Lanark Way, yip, Brian Kingstons area, that on numerous occasions had a statue of the Virgin Mary on it along with Tricolours, elected representatives, the Pope along with a host of other derogatory symbols aimed to demean the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican community .. and the past paramilitary trappings! This is a man who represents the Shankill area, where paramilitaries are still in prominent existence – dont often hear Brian condeming this. Should I go on …

    And then there is the regular recital of the hateful and sectarian “Famine Song” by the Orange Order et al that walks the streets of Brian’s area … does Brian condemn? One word sums up, “hypocrisy”! In the words of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière) “One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.” Get examining Brian …

  10. Neill August 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    So we have to believe the words of a group that were not terribly honest mmm lets see how that works out!

    • Jude Collins August 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

      Neill – and gio – much though I love you both, I have a life to live so please understand if I don’t jump up and answer your every query. I think you both know that the IRA is gone, whereas the unionist/loyalist paramilitaries appear to be still around. If I’m wrong then the IRA are doing an astonishingly good invisibility job, and if the UDA etc are not around they’re making an awful lot of noise for a non-existent organisation.

      • Neill August 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

        Life to lead oh please without us you are a mere shadow! : )

    • TheHist August 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Maybe cite the Independent Monotoring Commission reports, Neill – an Independent body set up to monitor paramilitary activity – their last report in 2011 stated:

      “In contrast to PIRA, loyalist groups are finding it very difficult to contemplate going out of business. Indeed, one striking feature of the changes we have described has been how PIRA, however slowly, transformed itself under firm leadership and has gone out of business as a paramilitary group while loyalist groups, lacking comparable direction, have struggled to adapt.”

      2011 and nothing has changed – PIRA still out of business and Loyalist groupings still operating – Maybe the IMC were wrong too …

  11. Perkin Warbeck August 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

    Mention of the Wolfe Tones, Esteemed Blogmeister, brings back memories of Tuesday Nights in the Wexford Inn, Dublin a few doors up from where a plaque marks the birthplace of Robert Tressel. Who went on to write an uncommon novel of the common man.

    The Wexford Inn was the musical speakeasy where The Wolfies, those Ragged Trousered Philanthropists of Republican balladry, used to pour out the prohibited songs and choruses of the inhibited Free Southern Stateen. Under the very nose of the the grim-visaged Political Puritan, C.Cruise O’Brine whose idea of a good rousing song was a sea-shanty to do with Britannia ruling the airwaves.

    It was this admirable advocate of free speech and tee-totally correct champion of intellectual communication who ensured such lethal threats to liberty as the Snowy Breasted Pearl and the Big Strong Man in his Broad, Black Brimmer were duly bottled up and poured down the drains of Donnybrook, Dublin 4. These were the sobersided, frozen decades of political stasis of the Seventies and Eighties in the FSS..

    Fast forward to the the early Nighties when a Thaw of sorts had set in after the constituents of Dublin North East had said a resounding Nil to CCOB, by dispatching him to the Nirvana of North Down with a well-directed cic up the transom. When an advert caught Perkie’s curious eye: for a fund raiser for the Irish Georgian Society.

    The venue to be, Castletown House in Celbridge, the music to be provided by the Wolfgang Amadeus String Quartet. Actually, while the first item is correct,the second is not. What actually appeared in the advert was: the Wolfe Tones Ballad Group.

    After picking himself up from the horizontal, Perkie’s inner doubting Tomas confirmed that what he had read was actually what was printed. And before one could say ‘Eine Kleine Blackedout Musik’ had his ticket booked. This he just had to be in attendance at: to hear the strains of ‘The Ballad of James Connolly’ being voiced in the Palladian pile specifically built for Speaker Conolly of the Irish House of Commons.

    (Note: two n’s in Connolly, one n in Conolly. No relation or even relationn).

    What transpired was not unlike a famed cartoon in the satricial magazine ‘Dublin Opinion’ of the Forties. A pencil sketch of the Royal Dublin Horseshow Ball in the Shelbourne Hotel with a ceili band in attendance and the frock-coated Fear a Ti / MC clicking his fingers to the caption, ‘I say, beirt eile/ Another couple for the floor’.

    In other words a most edifying evening was had by all as Foxrock Fanny and Ailesbury Road Ron belted out ‘Some say the Divil’s Dead’ with the all the croaking gusto of a bogoak monolithic.

    A verse, in search of an airing

    Cllr. Kingston likes to get hot under the collar
    As becomes his lot, the snotty Imperial Wallah
    A true remnant of the Raj
    He has but one message:
    The Wolfes are worse nor the Sons of Allah !

    • Jude Collins August 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Much though I admire your closing verse, Perkin, I think it must cede first place to “After picking himself up from the horizontal, Perkie’s inner doubting Tomas confirmed that what he had read was actually what was printed. And before one could say ‘Eine Kleine Blackedout Musik’ had his ticket booked”. You MUST have written a book or two. Come clean. Confess all. It’ll be easier for you in the long run, as they used to say in Castlereagh (that rhymes too…)

  12. Perkin Warbeck August 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    You wouldn’t be after trying to tousle one’s carefully combed and gelled pompadour with the retro- razor line now, would you, Esteeemd Blogmeister?

    That class of carry one can lead to the issuing of any one of the tri-coloured cards: black, yellow or red.

    Alas, A Mhaistir Ionuin Blog, as the old refrain of the Wolfies says: Ar Eirinn ni neosfainn ar dhein / It’s for Ireland I’d sing mum.

    PS Feel free to do a number on Kerry, all the same.

  13. George August 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi Jude.

    Why don’t you try this for a change?

    Just say “Yes I agree – it’s not right in this day and age that a band at a supposedly inclusive “cultural” festival glorifies an organisation that was responsible for the deaths of many innocents in this country and beyond. We don’t want that kind of thing here anymore”

    And then just stop – leave it at that – say no more. Unilateral condemnation – no “ahh buts”.

    It’s a tough thing to do because we are hard wired in this place to seek justification for the wrongful behaviour of one side by pointing to the equally wrongful behaviour of the other. Where does that get us?

    Of course, we all do it but it’s incredibly cathartic and helpful when we don’t.

    I’m gonna give it a lash myself. Here goes!

    It’s wrong that we have murals continuing to glorify loyalist paramilitary groups and violence. It’s wrong that we continue to have loyalist paramilitary groups at all.

    See Jude? Easy peasy! Give it a try!

    • giordanobruno August 11, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

      George
      Well said.

    • Neill August 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

      Well said George!

  14. michael c August 11, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    Brian Warfield of the “Tones” is quoted as saying “in fact we have two records with the sash mentioned”.Not only that but the Tones actually have an orange sash in their posession.Inthe 1960s the Tones appeared regularly at a venue in the Bellaghy area of South Derry and would have been their first foray into the North.One of their biggest fans was a protestant woman from the outskirts of the village and on one occasion she presented them with her late father’s orange sash.I remember one of the band recalling this in a newspaper interview decades later and I have spoken to people from the area who confirmed the story and were even able to name the woman concerned.

  15. KopperbergCentral August 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    If the IRA are defunct who was it that done all the cleaning up after Robert McCartney’s murder? And who was it that was still shipping in weapons from America long after the bunkers were concreted up? They’re not defunct, they’re only hibernating. The only time I trust Gerry Adams was when he uttered the immortal words, They haven’t gone away you know.Handy for SF to have them around as it keeps a looming presence over the dizzy IRA

    • Belfastdan August 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      KopperbergCentral you must be really cr*pping yourself then over the Official IRA who never gave up as much as a single round of ammunition!

    • TheHist August 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      KC, you seem very cynical and are going a long way back to try and prove the PIRA still exist, or as you refer, are in “hibernation.” Any modern, up to date evidence to the contrary?

      Please cite the reference i made in an earlier posting to the 2011 IMC report. A previous IMC report as far back at September 2008 stated that the IRA was “committed to the political path” and no longer represented “a threat to peace or to democratic politics”, and that the IRA’s Army Council was “no longer operational or functional.”

      In 2011 Gerry Adams stated “The war is over. The IRA is gone. The IRA embraced, facilitated and supported the peace process. When a democratic and peaceful alternative to armed struggle was created the IRA left the stage.” This was backed up in 2012 by the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson (yes, you’ve read it right, Jeffery) said that there was “no evidence of the Provisional IRA being active” and that evidence showed the IRA’s army council “has not met in any format” in recent years.

      Jeffrey went on to say “This confirms the view that the Provisional IRA has left the stage.” Yes, even Jeffrey has came to the realisation that the PIRA no longer exist and hasn’t ever stated otherwise – and for Jeffrey to state this, says a lot … so, it looks as though “they have gone away, ya know.”

      You refer to the murder of Robert McCartney – happened 31st January 2005, when the PIRA existed. The PIRA were officially stood down after this, and ceased to exist from 28th July 2005. So the PIRA were defunct after the event you allege, not before.

      “And who was it that was still shipping in weapons from America long after the bunkers were concreted up?” When was this? Any evidence this this is actually true?

    • Ryan August 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

      I have to say KopperbergCentral, I agree with you 100%

      I know many, many people, have said the PIRA are gone, they aren’t coming back, etc but are they defunct? My opinion is: far from it. They are hibernating.

      This is just my opinion, I’m sure many people could show me evidence that I’m wrong but on this matter I’m going to trust my feelings and instincts. I believe the only weapons given up by the PIRA was weapons/equipment they either weren’t going to use or didn’t need or could afford to give up. I might be wrong here but I seem to remember Ian Paisley demanding photographic evidence to show decommissioning of PIRA weapons (he was rather quiet on UVF/UDA decommissioning though) and from my knowledge (and I’ll accept fully if people can prove me wrong here) he never got that simple demand.

      I have other reasons for believing the PIRA are not defunct but I won’t go into them all here because this comment will turn into an essay but, for example, its known that weapons were brought into the North in the early 2000’s from Florida, USA. They were hidden in toy fire engine trucks if I remember correctly. Anti-Tank shells was said to have been imported, the same used by the US Army in Iraq. Wonder what other weapons was brought in that we don’t know about?….

      But my main reason why I don’t believe the PIRA are defunct is because I just cant see the PIRA decommissioning and settling down to politics. They could’ve did that decades ago. The leadership aren’t stupid, they don’t trust the British or Irish Governments one bit, they might have settled down to politics but I just cant see them settling down to politics without their weapons being within arms reach. Not to mention with the UVF/UDA being still active. Its no secret either that Unionists want majority rule back and they have their sympathizers at Westminster who would go out of their way to help them achieve it, the PIRA would obviously resort to armed action if that were to happen. I also believe the British Government knows full well that the PIRA didn’t fully decommission and maybe even compromised and secretly allowed them to keep weapons, all in the interests of moving talks forward. Of course Tony Blair was the British Prime Minister then, I couldn’t see David Cameron agreeing to that.

      That’s just my theory anyway.

      • Wolfe tone August 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

        Ryan, sorry to burst your bubble but ‘the leadership’ can be pretty stupid a lot of the time. You are awarding them too much praise and foresight that’s for sure.

    • Neill August 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

      Cant argue with that!

  16. Neill August 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    For the attention of Patrick

    So the setting up of the Northern Irish state was democratic because a minority within the country feared that they would have been discriminated against? Is that seriously your answer?

    Yes and they were proved to be very right!

    What about the fact that the majority of citizens of Ireland were against the creation of a Northern Irish state? Wouldn’t that lend credence to the argument that it was undemocratically created?
    Using your logic no new country would exist.

    What about the fact that said state then proceeded to discriminate against a large section of its population throughout the next half a century or so? Have you accepted that reality? Does that bother you at all?

    I am against discrimination in every field the question is did the IRA have to kill close to 2000 people to end discrimination?

    So since you say that “unionist people were quite justified in not wanting to be part of a state that would openly discriminate against them” would you accept that nationalists were quite justified in not wanting to be part of a state that did openly discriminate against them?

    Yes of course!

  17. Patrick August 12, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    So your logic is forget about the wishes of the majority within a country because the minority fear they may be subject to discrimination. And then draw a border so that the minority within the country can become a majority within an artificially created state and proceed to massively discriminate against the minority. Now to me that seems absolutely ludicrous but quite ok to you. That’s quite a twisted logic.

    That said I am quite heartened by your claim that you’re against discrimination in “every field”. Tell me, since you’ve now acknowledged that nationalists were subjected to discrimination, what should they have done in order to end that?

    Let me just say that I’m someone who wishes the IRA never existed. I accept that they committed many actions that were wrong and regrettably this caused serious pain to many people. That said I don’t see them as being the root cause of the troubles here. The root causes were the decision to partition the country and the subsequent misrule of the northern irish government. The IRA were I believe a reaction to those things.

    Nelson Mandela said how it was often the oppressor who defined the nature of the war. If only the oppressors in the north of Ireland hadn’t reacted with such brutality to the civil rights movement. If only, if only. Who knows how things would have developed.

  18. George August 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Gosh! Four days is a long time in the world of political blogging Jude, isn’t it?

    Have you any theories, any at all, on who might have murdered Kevin McGuigan?