‘Belfast Telegraph – Abusing the Memory of Fr Hamel’ by Eddie Whyte

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It is a regrettable confirmation that the upper echelons of unionism have a long way to go in the journey towards an inclusive society when the Belfast Telegraph (which claims to serve the entire community) allows its pages to be used by politician Nelson McCausland to compare the savage murder of Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel with what he calls “Republican atrocities from the Troubles”(!) (Belfast Telegraph, 28 July 2016)

McCausland’s lengthy column focuses on several conflict-related killings in or near to churches or places of Christian worship. All cases mentioned were carried out by various republican groups – the victims are military, judiciary and civilian. Not a single one of the examples used relates to killings carried out by pro-British forces – whether in uniform or out of uniform.

Many of the most brutal killings of civilians in McCausland’s own home area of north Belfast were carried out by unionist paramilitary groups which McCausland himself and his party have previously been closely associated with. The vast majority of those victims were co-religionists of Father Hamel and like Father Hamel, their only crime was their Catholic faith.

The people of north Belfast have grown well used to the blatant sectarianism of Nelson McCausland but for the Belfast Telegraph to sponsor this one-sided hypocrisy, which exploits the memory of an elderly Catholic priest brutally murdered during the sacrament of the Mass, is nothing short of shameful. It is ironic that McCausland uses the column space at his disposal to accuse others of wanting to rewrite the past, worse still that the Belfast Telegraph allows him to do just exactly that.

28 Responses to ‘Belfast Telegraph – Abusing the Memory of Fr Hamel’ by Eddie Whyte

  1. pjdorrian July 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    We used to buy the Belfast Telegraph. I stopped a couple of decades ago. The unfettered unionist outpourings eventually overrode the Need to buy the Tuesday and Friday editions for the job sections. One knew where one stood with the Newsletter, it didn’t pretend to be anything but Loyalist, though I never bought that either.
    So am I surprised by Nelson’s rants? No! I still have a copy of Sean McPhilemy’s Committee and it is worth a dip into every now and then. It is a worthwhile read.

  2. Pointis July 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    It is quite ironic that the group that would complain least about Nelson’s outpourings are probably the group which should be offended most – Northern Catholics.

    The Catholic population are that used to being treated as an underclass that they have developed a type of Stockholm syndrome with some especially the older population who lived through the worst of the discrimination being most prone.

    To be fair Nelson is only saying what many more ‘respectable’ Unionists are thinking but are much too shrewd to say for fear of appearing to being seen as an intolerant bigot.

    I don’t believe the type of behaviour which Nelson excels would be tolerated in England.

    We have still quite a way to go!

  3. Freddie mallins July 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    Pj , I have been trying to secure a copy of the committee for some time. Can’t seem to see it online. Where could a copy be purchased, do you know? Ta

  4. Brian Patterson July 30, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    There was only one tendency in the north that preceded ISIS insofar as it specialised in beheading innocents. , loyalist paramilitaries. Nelson has put the telescope to his blind eye and missed the Shankill butchers.

  5. Sherdy July 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    The BelTel claims to serve the whole community, but gives Nelson free reign to spout his bigotry.
    You only have to do a background check on the Tele’s present editor, Gail Walker, to know that ‘serving the whole community’ is the last thing on her Lurgan influenced extreme loyalist mind!
    But you can content yourself that the paper is not flourishing, whether because of its political outlook, or despite it, so they hopefully will soon have to change their outlook!

  6. Robert July 31, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    I can easily understand why many people on here think Nelson is a bigot especially if you are a Catholic

    However man unionist people would view Jude as being very similar to Nelson on the basis of his media columns and appearances they do seem to share the one eyed approach to what happened here.

    Perhaps Nelson and Jude have a lot more in common than they previously assumed…

    • Jude Collins July 31, 2016 at 10:52 am #

      Sorry, Robert – I completely reject your amiable one-side’s-as-bad-as-the-other. I don’t recall using the violent death of someone so I could use the coffin as a soapbox…

  7. Eddie Whyte July 31, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    Ludicrous comment from Robert above. Why not try commenting on the article itself? Preferably under your own name.

    • Jude Collins July 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

      Eddie, please. Enough with your impossible demands…

    • Robert July 31, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      Yes your complety correct Jude at no stage as Nelson compared the BB to paramilitaries or tried to construct a case to downplay what happened with the Shankill massacre still you never know what’s around the corner.

      As for Eddie that’s the price of living in a democratic state or do your union friends dislike that as well?

      • Jude Collins July 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

        Just watch what you say, Robert. I at no stage ‘tried to construct a case to downplay what happened in the Shankill massacre’ and if you insist on repeating that you might find yourself with other problems than being barred from this blogsite. As to comparing the BB to paramilitaries – another (although a lesser) lie. No more, please.

        • Robert July 31, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

          The case is very simple you have been at least as visceral towards the unionist community as Nelson has been to the Nationalist community proof reading this blog leaves no doubt of that.

          Since we live in a democracy I’m fine with that better to put things out there than let them fester.

          • giordanobruno August 1, 2016 at 7:02 am #

            Nelson uses his column to highlight wrongs by one side here, and there is no doubt Jude does the same.
            International incidents are often used to highlight British imperialism or Unionist hypocrisy, just as Nelson has used this incident to highlight Republican terrorism.
            No doubt both would say they are providing context rather than “using coffins as a soapbox”
            No doubt both would reject any comparison.
            “And would some power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us.”
            I do think the BelTel should be providing an alternative view to Nelson’s too though. Perhaps it does I am not sure.

  8. emmet July 31, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Does Nelson forget the Priest executed in Ballymurphy by the parachute regiment? He was giving last Rites to a dying man when they killed him. As for Jude being like McCausland any examples Robert? I can’t really say anything about Nelson as it would be deemed derogatory so I will leave it at this: A nationalist equivalent of Nelson (I know there are some) would never make it to the top of his community and certainly wouldn’t be accepted as a voice of nationalism. McCauseland is an embarrassment to Ireland- he often makes the international news showing how backward the north is.

  9. MT July 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    “Sorry, Robert – I completely reject your amiable one-side’s-as-bad-as-the-other. I don’t recall using the violent death of someone so I could use the coffin as a soapbox…”

    But you did say a BB parade was like a dissident terrorist demonstration.

  10. Willie D. July 31, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    Nelson McCausland is entitled to put his views, though I must admit as someone brought up in the Unionist community I invariably find these views predictable and embarrassing. However, I think the claim that his Nationalist equivalent would never make it to the top of his community is somewhat wide of the mark. After all Martin McGuiness and others have made it to the top in the sense of holding high ministerial office in our executive, while being unashamed former members of an organisation which spent almost 30 years murdering and maiming people, many of these killings being purely sectarian, while simultaneously trying to destroy the economy and attempting to deter inward investment. McCausland’s views, while they may be obnoxious to some, are just part of the to and fro common in any free society, with others being free to challenge and refute them.

  11. KopparbergCentral July 31, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    Eddie will be writing a full page of whataboutery to the Belfast Telegraph ASAP. As in the case of the Troubles, the tit for tat scores need to be evened up.

    • Eddie July 31, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      If you think this is whataboutery then I don’t believe you even read the article.

      • KopparbergCentral July 31, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

        If Unionist’s had Death squads, what did Republican’s have? Life squads? If a squad of people get together and bring death to someone’s door and they do it in the name of Unionism/Loyalism or Nationalism/Republicanism then, if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and kills like a duck, then it’s a death squad duck. Like Nelson not balancing the death squad scores, Republicans seem unable to accept the fact their own death squads did brutal acts in the name of Nationalism/Republicanism, or that they even existed in the first place.
        They can’t even bring themselves to string the three words – Republican Death Squads – together. So how can they expect an open and honest dialogue from others, when they’re close minded and disingenuous about their own reality. And if anyone does bring up previous acts of Republican death squad violence, well then, wow, wow, wow, that person is just being sectarian and needs shut down immediately! But not in a death squad fashion which Republicans never formed at anytime ever, nor was any Unionist politician like Robert Bradford, Edgar Graham or Norman Stronge, ever harmed by one and that’s a fact.

        • emmet July 31, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

          We can’t get unionists to say British Army death squads, but what does it matter what we call them? Unionist politicians have worked hand in hand with loyalist death squads. Koppenberg, if we need to shut down anyone who is sectarian then unionism needs to be shut down going on your logic. Unionist leadership are promoting bigotry, narrow-mindedness, hatred and sectarianism. Nelson has a long history of sectarianism. Unionist need to accept that no one is going to allow them to drag us back to some apartheid sectarian state, sooner or later they will have to accept that all citizens are equal.

          • KopparbergCentral August 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

            Is Asda selling beans cheaper in Cork rather than Antrim? That’s the real question you have to ask yourself. I prefer the non-Aoife variety of beans myself, as it contains a lot more spiceness.

        • Eddie August 1, 2016 at 8:05 am #

          My article is a reaction to Nelson McCausland abusing the horrific murder of Fr Hamel for his own sectarian political ends – and the Belfast Telegraph allowing him to do so. The only one engaging in whataboutery here or belittling other deaths is yourself. Good luck with that.

          • KopparbergCentral August 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

            Thanks Eddie, for your Response.

        • jessica August 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

          There are no death squads in Ireland KC.

          We had a conflict which was started by unionism who also brought the gun into Irish politics in order to use violence to obtain their political goals while thwarting democracy.

          During the conflict we had bloody brutal murders carried out by British and Irish factions diametrically opposed in which 3000 people died.

          You can call them death squads if you want, but in that case what conflict doesn’t have death squads and it only serves to make your comments sound either puerile or partial?

          The conflict was wrong, very wrong, it should never have happened but today the conflict is over and we should focus on making sure it doesn’t happen again.

          The best place to start in my opinion would be the leaders of unionism acknowledging their role in starting the trouble to begin with.

          We can only then look at individual acts including the truth about the role the British state played both directly and through its agents which are still active and still on the payroll of MI5 but also all of the individual acts to unearth as much of the truth as we can, warts and all.

          Hopefully then we can finally agree on a multi tiered and multifaceted narratives of our conflict which can be the basis of a conflict resolution centre at the Maze with a museum which can turn terrible events into a prosperous future while showcasing the horror of conflict, not glorifying it and showing the world that even the most divided of societies can successfully forge a path to peace.

          • KopparbergCentral August 1, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

            I’m quoting Sinn Fein who say there were Unionist Death Squads. If you don’t believe there were Unionist or Republican death squads, then take it up with your local Sinn Fein representative.

          • jessica August 1, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

            Have you any interest in reconciliation at all KC?

            How do you see this playing out without it?

  12. Jude whyte August 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    People seem to confuse me with is fellow……I am NOT him …I do however admire him greatly

    • KopparbergCentral August 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

      Thank you kind Sir, the feeling is mutual