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Ciarán
Apr 2nd, 2011, 08:47 PM
A 25-year-old police officer has been killed after a bomb exploded under his car in Omagh, County Tyrone.

The device exploded under the vehicle outside his home in Highfield Close, just before 1600 BST on Saturday.

Neighbours rushed to help him and some used fire extinguishers to put out the flames from the explosion. He died at the scene.

He was recently qualified and is the second policeman to be killed since the PSNI was formed out of the RUC in 2001.

Since 2007, dissident republicans have planted dozens of booby-trap bombs under the private cars of police officers.

The bombs have failed to detonate, but two policemen lost their legs in attacks in May 2008 and January 2010.

On Saturday morning about 2,000 people, who were taking part in the Omagh Half Marathon, passed the nearby entrance to the estate just hours before the blast.

Politicians and party leaders from across Northern Ireland and the Republic have condemned the attack. As of yet there has been no claim of responsibility for his murder.

Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson, said he shared the outrage of the country.

Continue reading the main story
Analysis


Mark Simpson
BBC Ireland Correspondent
Dissident republicans are trying to de-stabilise Northern Ireland at a time when it has rarely been more stable.

Power-sharing is working. The Stormont Assembly has just completed it first full four-year term for 30 years.

Relations between Britain and Ireland have never been better. This summer, the Queen will make an historic first visit to Dublin, demonstrating how relations on these islands have normalised.

Violent republican groups like the Real IRA and Oglaigh na hEireann are fighting against normality.

"It was a young man who was bravely entering the police service, recognising that he was putting his life on the line.

"I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in NI want to move on. It's only a few Neanderthal who want to go back.

"They will not drag us back to the past."

Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, said it had been "an evil act, carried out by enemies of the whole community".

"First and foremost my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of the young PSNI officer who was murdered.

"The people in all parts of Ireland and beyond want peace and those who carried out this atrocity are in the grip of an obscene delusion if they think that by murder they can defy their will".

Dissidents
Mr Paterson spoke with the Prime Minister. He also spoke with the Chief Constable, Matt Bagott and Justice Minister, David Ford.

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward, described it as "an evil and cowardly attack".

"These crimes are targeted on those who protect the community," he said.

"We all deeply mourn the brave young man whose life was taken by this savage crime.

"We all have a duty to stop those behind it from succeeding."

Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, said his party was determined that those responsible would not set back the progress of the peace and political process.

Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott said those behind the murder had one aim - to take Northern Ireland back to the dark days of the past.

"The deliberate targeting of a new recruit to the police by these criminals is utterly reprehensible," he said.

Prayers
SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie said the policeman's killers were enemies of Ireland.

"This has not only stunned the people of Omagh, it has stunned the entire country," she said.

"This is not what the people want. They cannot be allowed to continue their campaign."

Omagh DUP Councillor, Errol Thompson, said he believed dissident republicans were responsible for the attack.

"I think these people are trying to knock the peace process back, especially in terms of the forthcoming elections," he said.

"It doesn't take a lot of support for them to carry out these kinds of attacks, but they will not pull this country back, we are moving forward."

Prayers are being said at vigil masses throughout Omagh on Saturday night for the policeman.

In March 2009, a police officer was shot dead as he answered a distress call in Craigavon, County Armagh.

Dissident republican group, the Continuity IRA, claimed responsibility for the attack. Constable Stephen Carroll, 48, was married and from Banbridge.

He was murdered two days after the Real IRA shot dead two soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in Antrim.

The Continuity IRA is one of a number of dissident republican paramilitary groups opposed to the peace process. They have carried out bomb and gun attacks on civilians and the security forces.

There is believed to be cross-over and co-operation between the Continuity IRA and the larger Real IRA, which bombed Omagh in 1998.

The car bomb killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injured hundreds more.

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This is really shocking and sad. I live in this tight knit community and it is really hard to fathom what has happened. It's so sad that a young pioneering individual was targeted and killed by his 'own' for helping the Northern Ireland peace movement move forward and breaking down barriers. It's scary that these attacks are becoming more common and coming closer and closer to home. I was working at the time of the incident and the police rushed into our store and made us search it top to bottom for any suspicious devices...really scary stuff :sad:

KournikovaFan91
Apr 2nd, 2011, 09:33 PM
These dissidents should realise its over, the united Ireland they want will never happen no matter what they do.

I know I have the banter with JR about a united Ireland but its never happening, the minute the decision to divide the country in 1921 was made that was it forever, they were the ones that sold out (one reason why I wouldn't vote FG along with their right wing tenancies).

But I think its time we all moved on, the 26 counties should join the schengen and if the 6 counties don't like it thats tough, I mean for too long in Ireland have decisions in Dublin been made while thinking about an area of the island where the vast majority of people don't want to be part of the Republic. They would rather be part of a country that uses an archaic voting systems and chooses the head of state based on first out of the womb. But I guess thats what they want.

I mean its sad for me but thats life, its about time the 6 counties where fully regarded as a foreign country and travelling to Newry considered international travel. And Sinn Féin should just focus on being a socialist party because the united Ireland thing isn't happening.

I even feel like Northerns and Southerners are culturally different now regardless of religion like Southern Catholics and Protestants are similar to each other rather than similar to their religious counterparts in the 6 counties.

Its really sad the dissidents continue to be so deluded. I hope they realise soon, they will never get what they want so people don't keep getting killed by them. :shrug:

Sorry to ramble about something that isn't directly relevant but its been on my mind for a while.

Ciarán
Apr 2nd, 2011, 09:41 PM
I for one am happy as a person born and raised in Northern Ireland to be able to choose to call myself Irish and hold an Irish passport. The people who carry out these attacks are the scum of the earth, dumb fucks who don't understand the true scale of what a 'united' Ireland would mean. They are so stupid they do not realise they would have to pay for health care and loose many of the benefits that they have now. These people have tunnel vision and are the the definition of ignorance and stupidity. If I had it my way, they would be the ones strapping bombs to themselves and not others. This day has made me embarrassed to call myself Northern Irish and to have come from a Roman Catholic background.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:02 PM
If you want to look on the issue as economic, which is what people in the Anglophone world tend to do, look on everything as being economic then yes the union works out great, get everything for free and work for the civil service. There are benefits to the South though like a broader education system and higher social welfare.

But on the other hand these people don't care about economics they are principled, the cost is irrelevant to them they just want the political element of the unity.

I think its about time everyone in the 6 counties stopped getting the best of both world's. I know a so-called nationalist who has a British passport :rolleyes: But they insist they are a nationalist. I don't have a problem with the person having the passport, just don't try and call yourself Irish when you travel on a British passport.

I actually think the automatic citizenship that Dublin gives people from the 6 counties should be stopped unless of course the 6 counties of course wish to join the South but otherwise it shouldn't be allowed continue.

Like I still support a United Ireland but I realise now its never happening so why not just treat each other like foreigners from now on, seems the best solution rather than continue this odd thing we having going.

One thing that really pisses me off currently is the fact Northern Irish people do not have to pay university tuition fees in the south just like southerners. I don't see how this is fair on taxpayers in Ireland.

delicatecutter
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:23 PM
I'm not up on my Irish history obviously, but was it NI's choice to join GB or did GB annex them or something? Why did they leave Ireland?

ivanban
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:29 PM
Ciaran :tears:

KournikovaFan91
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:44 PM
I'm not up on my Irish history obviously, but was it NI's choice to join GB or did GB annex them or something? Why did they leave Ireland?

The entire island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom up until 1921 after a War of Independance on the island. A treaty was signed in 1921 that basically gave the 26 counties in the South independence but not the 6 in the North because the North had a large Protestant population who supported the union with Britain for various reason like business and religion.

In 1919 however the entire island of Ireland was recognized as an independent republic by Lenin's Russian SFR. But no other countries ever recognized it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Irish_Treaty

The treaty was eventually dismantled by de Valera in the 1930s but he could never achieve a united Ireland.

The protestant population was planted in Ireland in the 1600s the only plantation to be a big success was the Ulster plantation, others in the South never took off and the Catholics remained the majority.

That is a quick summary of the situation.

Ironically before the plantations Ulster was the most Gaelic province of Ireland. Another surprising thing is that polls in the UK show the general public there actually support a united Ireland also.

*JR*
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:50 PM
When the police were a defacto Protestant militia called the Royal Ulster Constabulary, their members were a legitimate military target; even if a clear majority of them are Protestants, they're now quite integrated, not a paramilitary force for one side. Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein (an ex-IRA bigwig) is right to condemn this act.



I'm not up on my Irish history obviously, but was it NI's choice to join GB or did GB annex them or something? Why did they leave Ireland?

Sort of an annexation. After the 1916 Easter Uprising against the British occupation, the Protestants further concentrated in those 6 small northern counties, and refused to join the Irish Republic in the peace treaty a few years later. One reason the Brits gave was that after WW I they were determined to keep a naval refuge near (but not in) Britain. Which is somewhat dodgy as they could have negotiated longterm leases for seaports. (For example, the now infamous US base @ Guantanamo Bay has been kept to this day, even after Castro took ova Cuba in 1959)

delicatecutter
Apr 2nd, 2011, 10:53 PM
Thanks for the explanation guys! :hatoff:

Ciarán
Apr 2nd, 2011, 11:34 PM
If you want to look on the issue as economic, which is what people in the Anglophone world tend to do, look on everything as being economic then yes the union works out great, get everything for free and work for the civil service. There are benefits to the South though like a broader education system and higher social welfare.

But on the other hand these people don't care about economics they are principled, the cost is irrelevant to them they just want the political element of the unity.

I think its about time everyone in the 6 counties stopped getting the best of both world's. I know a so-called nationalist who has a British passport :rolleyes: But they insist they are a nationalist. I don't have a problem with the person having the passport, just don't try and call yourself Irish when you travel on a British passport.

I actually think the automatic citizenship that Dublin gives people from the 6 counties should be stopped unless of course the 6 counties of course wish to join the South but otherwise it shouldn't be allowed continue.

Like I still support a United Ireland but I realise now its never happening so why not just treat each other like foreigners from now on, seems the best solution rather than continue this odd thing we having going.

One thing that really pisses me off currently is the fact Northern Irish people do not have to pay university tuition fees in the south just like southerners. I don't see how this is fair on taxpayers in Ireland.

Of course it is not all economic, but I agree with much of what you have said. I kind of feel wrong for saying I do not want a united Ireland, nor do I think that the Republic wants the North. I don't agree that Irish citizenship should stop being given to Northern Irish citizens though :unsure: I mean, things are pretty bad now, can you imagine the uproar that would cause? I don't even want to think about it, it's that scary. Before I heard the details today, when I only knew of a bomb, my heart sank and memories of what I had blanked out from the Omagh bomb came flooding back. I felt physically sick. The policeman's name has been released, turns out I know his younger sister. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that that family is feeling right now. The fact that the attack took place in broad day light also scares me because the young children who would have experienced it and the residents of that park. Comments from a local DUP councilor really annoyed me too, it sounded as though he was blaming Sinn Fein and he used the phrase 'Sinn Fein need to rat the members of this organisation out immediately and put a stop to this' as though all the recent troubles have been entirely one sided :rolleyes:. I am of course coming from a personal angle as I am not much of a politician :p

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:06 AM
Grim.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:07 AM
Yeah the automatic citizenship would probably cause a lot of controversy.

Also the DUP councilor blaming Sinn Féin is ridiculous, its not even likely this attack was caused by a member of Sinn Féin, probably some splinter group but not Sinn Féin.

I agree with JR about the new PSNI being different than the RUC, the RUC were basically a unionist militia who rarely convicted unionists the police force now is far more equal and in some cases there are too many Catholic members.

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:25 AM
Yeah the automatic citizenship would probably cause a lot of controversy.

Also the DUP councilor blaming Sinn Féin is ridiculous, its not even likely this attack was caused by a member of Sinn Féin, probably some splinter group but not Sinn Féin.

I agree with JR about the new PSNI being different than the RUC, the RUC were basically a unionist militia who rarely convicted unionists the police force now is far more equal and in some cases there are too many Catholic members.

The likely killers will probably have been members of the Provisional IRA at some point in the past and it's possible that Sinn Fein may have an idea who is responsible, and hopefully will give whatever information they have to the authorities.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:36 AM
They "may" have some idea then again they may not, it has been a long time since the split people go different ways, and in other recent cases regarding dissidents some have been in their early 20s too young to have been provisionals. :shrug:

The PSNI probably know about the older members of these organisations anyway and with the new members Sinn Féin can't help.

But its hardly surprising this has been made into a bash Sinn Féin thing by some nobody DUP councilor.

Ferg
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:40 AM
These dissidents should realise its over, the united Ireland they want will never happen no matter what they do.

I know I have the banter with JR about a united Ireland but its never happening, the minute the decision to divide the country in 1921 was made that was it forever, they were the ones that sold out (one reason why I wouldn't vote FG along with their right wing tenancies).

But I think its time we all moved on, the 26 counties should join the schengen and if the 6 counties don't like it thats tough, I mean for too long in Ireland have decisions in Dublin been made while thinking about an area of the island where the vast majority of people don't want to be part of the Republic. They would rather be part of a country that uses an archaic voting systems and chooses the head of state based on first out of the womb. But I guess thats what they want.

I mean its sad for me but thats life, its about time the 6 counties where fully regarded as a foreign country and travelling to Newry considered international travel. And Sinn Féin should just focus on being a socialist party because the united Ireland thing isn't happening.

I even feel like Northerns and Southerners are culturally different now regardless of religion like Southern Catholics and Protestants are similar to each other rather than similar to their religious counterparts in the 6 counties.

Its really sad the dissidents continue to be so deluded. I hope they realise soon, they will never get what they want so people don't keep getting killed by them. :shrug:

Sorry to ramble about something that isn't directly relevant but its been on my mind for a while.


The division didnt happen in 21. Without Collins and Griffiths then negotiations would likely never have been reached in the first place. The all out war which Dev wanted would have been a disaster. Without those 2, its unlikley Ireland would have gotten full independence until post WWII. Collins could do deals with the radical Unionists, he showed that with his dealings with Craig. Its not his fault he was murdered by the IRA/Sinn Feiners before he could stabilise the country. Having W.T. Cosgrave did bring stability but he had no intention to try and bring to North back, unlike Collins. The loss of Kevin O Higgins, another assasination by the IRA/Sinn Feiners is just as bad considering the work he put forward in the Imperial Conferences leading to the Statute of Westminster. Basically, theres not point labelling Collins and Griffiths as traitors whilst leaving Devs side out of it. Everyone knows why he didnt partake in the negotiations. The real harm came when Lloyd George brought the GOIA in 20 which first divided the country. The fanatic Craig was never going to relinquish power after this, no matter who was in power in the South.

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:53 AM
What matters now is that the deluded fuckers who did this are brought to justice.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 3rd, 2011, 12:56 AM
Dev had previously been to London to participate in negotiations and hadn't gotten enough out of them. Also I just said they sold out I never called them traitors. But I do think Collins is over hyped, like Griffith gets no props these days, must be because his cause of death wasn't as spectacular.

Also the way you use Sinn Féin in that context isn't quite right considering Collins at the time was just Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin and Dev Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin. Everyone was Sinn Féin then, just different sections of Sinn Féin. Only the Green Party in Ireland have no Sinn Féin connection.

We have a long history of been weak on international negotiations, look at the current EU ones so weak. Like Fermanagh and Tyrone were the two counties that should defiantly have been part of the South in 21, but they couldn't even get them.

Dev had to get the ports back, luckily he did so we could maintain neutrality in WWII. He is also the only international statesman we ever had, standing up against dictatorships by condemning Mussolini and Franco.

I have always admired South America for getting rid of Spain completely and fully defeating imperialism. Although I felt sorry for Zapatero at that conference where he was being harangued by certain people :lol:

The Anglophone world seems to still have some imperialist residue left over like the fact Australia, New Zealand and Canada have no issue with the fact their head of state lives in London. It just seems odd to me that these kind of situations still exist in the 21st century. And I guess the Northern Irish unionists also fit that category.

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:03 AM
The IRA weren't neutral in World War 2 though. Actively sought out an alliance with the Nazi's.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:14 AM
I was discussing Ireland the country. Dev was Fianna Fáil at that point not SF.

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:18 AM
The main thing is bringing the killers to justice, that's all really. Hopefully everyone can agree on that.

KournikovaFan91
Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:20 AM
I don't see who has been challenging that opinion in this thread? :shrug:

I just started rambling :lol:

Halardfan
Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:29 AM
I don't see who has been challenging that opinion in this thread? :shrug:

I just started rambling :lol:

We all ramble sometimes, don't worry about it. ;)

Just the events in Japan have had a jarring effect on me. All the horror of that, just shows everything else in a new light. We have people of whatever political persuasion murdering people in various corners for god knows what reason, be it in Libya Northern Ireland wherever. It's all so bloody pointless and futile.

The main problem is with bloody human beings. See, now I'm rambling.;)

*JR*
Apr 3rd, 2011, 02:17 AM
We have people of whatever political persuasion murdering people in various corners for god knows what reason, be it in Libya, Northern Ireland wherever. It's all so bloody pointless and futile.

Part of the famous Harry Ellis Scene from Die Hard:

0cBsdgJcT28

Talula
Apr 11th, 2011, 06:32 PM
I have no solution to the situation, it's so complicated and beyond me. But having been to the North and South the cultural difference amazed me and I can't see a United Ireland work - I am sure it would lead to a civil war and Britain would get the blame for that. Murder isn't the answer and with the EU I had hoped it would change. It is true though that a lot of people on the mainland would love a united Ireland because they believe (naively in my view) that it is the solution.

*JR*
Apr 11th, 2011, 07:13 PM
500 lb. bomb defused; Sinn Fein calls for whoever abandoned the van carrying it 2B turned in:

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/04/northern-ireland-unites-as-fears-grow-over-dissident-activity

Halardfan
Apr 11th, 2011, 08:03 PM
The Queens visit to the republic will be a major challenge next month, in terms of keeping her safe.

Ciarán
Apr 12th, 2011, 09:47 PM
When I heard she was coming here I couldn't believe it :lol: The wounds are still pretty fresh and she is considered enemy #1 to many.

Halardfan
Apr 12th, 2011, 11:27 PM
When I heard she was coming here I couldn't believe it :lol: The wounds are still pretty fresh and she is considered enemy #1 to many.

Can't see why. If anyone should hold a personal grudge it should be her, whose cousin was blown up by an IRA bomb. If she can move on so can others.

Ferg
Apr 13th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Just because they should move on doesnt mean they have. The reception by the idiot hardline republican groups will be worrying.

Londoner
Apr 13th, 2011, 08:36 PM
When I heard she was coming here I couldn't believe it :lol: The wounds are still pretty fresh and she is considered enemy #1 to many.

I think people keeping wounds fresh is what leads to murder and war. We're all in Europe now, the aim of which is to become like the USA so divisions could/should be irrelevant.

Look at Germany and Britain, thank God we don't keep those wounds fresh.. I don't know why others don't follow that example.

Londoner
Apr 13th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Can't see why. If anyone should hold a personal grudge it should be her, whose cousin was blown up by an IRA bomb. If she can move on so can others.

As a Londoner we have to move on from numerous attacks and affronts from numerous sources and I think we do it well. I wish others could do the same. HM the Queen has harmed no one and has done nothing but her duty and it's sad she is a target.

Ciarán
Apr 13th, 2011, 08:48 PM
I think people keeping wounds fresh is what leads to murder and war. We're all in Europe now, the aim of which is to become like the USA so divisions could/should be irrelevant.

Look at Germany and Britain, thank God we don't keep those wounds fresh.. I don't know why others don't follow that example.

200 years of suppression is pretty hard to forget.

Halardfan
Apr 13th, 2011, 10:18 PM
200 years of suppression is pretty hard to forget.

When would deem the 200 years of suppression to have begun and ended? Has it ended in your view?

Halardfan
Apr 13th, 2011, 10:20 PM
If Gerry Adams can be a guest at Downing street, the Queen can visit Ireland.

Halardfan
Apr 13th, 2011, 10:24 PM
As a Londoner we have to move on from numerous attacks and affronts from numerous sources and I think we do it well. I wish others could do the same. HM the Queen has harmed no one and has done nothing but her duty and it's sad she is a target.

One reassuring thing...I checked the comments on websites of various Irish papers. About 4 out of every 5 were positive about the visit, and spoke about trying to move on, and decrying the extremists stance.

So that's hopeful.

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:20 AM
Getting more worrying on both sides. Psyhcotic thugs sent letter bombs to prominent figures at Celtic football club in Glasgow. For those that don't know, Celtic are a club with strong links to the catholic Irish Nationalist/Republican community.

Then we had news of a new split in the IRA, with members claiming responsibility for the policeman's murder and now laying claim to being the legitimate voice of the IRA, in the following statement...

"The will of Irish republicans to resist the forced occupation and partitioning of our country has not been defeated," they said. "Irish republicans have continued to organise against the British presence in our country. We continue to do so under the name of the Irish Republican Army. We are the IRA."

The key thing is that they are not from groups like Real
IRA, they come from ranks that til now were part of the peace process.

Questions have to be raised as to how comprehensive IRA decommissioning was.

Chris 84
Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:41 AM
the neil lennon hatred is mainly due to the fact that he is a northern irish catholic, and he has been subjected to years of abuse in glasgow, and was boo-ed and subject to death threats by his own fans when he played for northern ireland despite being their best player, hence his decision to quit international football prematurely.

however, i guess we can be thankful that the letter bombs sent to him were crude devices that the unionist paramilitaries would have been ashamed of, which suggests a few moronic individuals, rather than a proper, cohesive and trained group. celtic's northern irish players also received bullets in the mail this season.

recently it emerged that the head of the catholic church in scotland, cardinal o'brien, received a bullet and a death threat in the mail prior to the pope's arrival in scotland. i believe the letter to o'brien was signed as being from the "Protestant Action Group", which has been used before as a euphemism for the UVF.

as for the queen herself, if i was in ireland, i wouldn't particularly want her there, given whan the uk monarchy represents, but there are dozens of heads of state i wouldn't wnat in my country anyway, and of course that doesn't mean she should fear for her life, etc.

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:51 AM
the neil lennon hatred is mainly due to the fact that he is a northern irish catholic, and he has been subjected to years of abuse in glasgow, and was boo-ed and subject to death threats by his own fans when he played for northern ireland despite being their best player, hence his decision to quit international football prematurely.

however, i guess we can be thankful that the letter bombs sent to him were crude devices that the unionist paramilitaries would have been ashamed of, which suggests a few moronic individuals, rather than a proper, cohesive and trained group. celtic's northern irish players also received bullets in the mail this season.

recently it emerged that the head of the catholic church in scotland, cardinal o'brien, received a bullet and a death threat in the mail prior to the pope's arrival in scotland. i believe the letter to o'brien was signed as being from the "Protestant Action Group", which has been used before as a euphemism for the UVF.

as for the queen herself, if i was in ireland, i wouldn't particularly want her there, given whan the uk monarchy represents, but there are dozens of heads of state i wouldn't wnat in my country anyway, and of course that doesn't mean she should fear for her life, etc.

Interesting to get a Scottish perspective on the Celtic thing.

Pat Nevin, on five live described the sectarianism in Scotland as predominantly a west Scotland issue, would that be right?

Nevin famously began as a Celtic fan, before rejecting them because of their too Sectarian leanings, in favour of Hibernian.

(Hearts being the Scottish side whose results I follow.)

Chris 84
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:34 AM
Interesting to get a Scottish perspective on the Celtic thing.

Pat Nevin, on five live described the sectarianism in Scotland as predominantly a west Scotland issue, would that be right?

Nevin famously began as a Celtic fan, before rejecting them because of their too Sectarian leanings, in favour of Hibernian.

(Hearts being the Scottish side whose results I follow.)

well, i've never heard that about nevin. all i know is that he was at celtic as a kid but he wasn't signed up as they thought him too small, and his change of allegiance maybe had more to do with that and with his feeling that celtic was too much a big business these days, etc (http://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/news/20091015/nevin-on-hibernian_2262950_1826017)

sectariansim as a problem in scotland is largely in the west, because that is where the majority of catholics are, but it is fairly prevalent in edinburgh too, with hearts and hibs being almost slightly lesser versions of rangers and celtic respectively. whether this is because there is less hatred among those fans or whether it is simply because less people support those teams, im unsure.

without wanting to get into a game of portraying the teams as bad guys and good guys (and clearly i am biased), and simply wanting to point out interesting facts, it is worth noting that until the end of the 1980s, rangers had a no-catholics policy, rejecting kids based on their names and the schools they went to (a high-profile example is danny mcgrain, who went on to be one of scotland's finest ever footballers). when rangers did sign a catholic, there was mass hysteria with many fans declaring they'd never go back to ibrox again, etc. however, it is to david murray's credit that this simply is not an issue any more. rangers have since had many catholics and players of "catholic" origin, etc, and have even been captained by a catholic. 25 years ago, that was practically unthinkable.
rangers have been in a lot of trouble recently over sectarian singing. their fans insist on singing "the billy boys" which talks about killing catholics, and "no pope of rome" which talks about living in a society free of catholics.

celtic have never had a no-protestants policy, and ever since its inception, protestants played a key role in the club's development. jock stein himself was a protestant. though again, celtic are no angels when it comes to discriminating either, and the board is reported to have been reluctant to make stein sole manager of the club because of his origins. it was never a problem for players to be protestant, but for the manager, perhaps it was.

celtic's fans have avoided the same kind of censure that rangers fans have failed to becuase of a number of reasons. firstly, they are held in high regard by uefa (contrast the fact that 80,000 fans went to seville for the uefa cup final and there was no trouble, and indeed there is now a strong link between the city and celtic to the fact that rangers fans trashed manchester when they got their uefa cup final there a few years back.) rangers fans have also been in trouble with the police in various countries in the past decade, whereas celtic fans have not. it has been argued that the police brought about some of these situations on their own, but the fact remains that the perception in uefa may be that rangers fans cause trouble.
apart from that is the fact that whilst rangers are in trouble for singing anti-catholic songs, celtic fans tend to sing pro-ireland songs, rather than anti-protestant ones. it is hard to arrest people for singing songs which aren't anti-anybody. there are some songs which are certainly pro-ira, but none which are pro-murder (eg, celtic fans sing about the uprisings in ireland pre the provisional ira, they sing about the hunger strikers in the 80s, but there are no songs which explicitly condone killing, etc, as far as i know). now obviously, many outsiders would find this unacceptable anyway, but the fact is that there is a slight difference.
something that worries me about the upcoming old firm game this weekend is that the police have said they will be sitting among the crowd and will arrest people who sing sectarian songs. the police have made no indication of what these songs are, and there are folk songs on both sides which could be said to be close to sectarian in that environment, but imo are merely pro-unionist or pro-irish, and are no more offensive than god save the queen, rule brittania, or any national anthem for that matter.

another fact to point out is that the problems of sectarianism in scotland are dumped at the door of the old firm. sure, there are things that the clubs could do better, but it isn't purely a football problem. it isn't so long ago that catholics simply couldn't get jobs in professions such as law and they resorted to setting up their own law firms to train only catholics in order to get some people in. things have progressed of course, but there are still "catholic" and "protestant" law firms out there.
add to that, the attitude of the press. in the old firm cup game recently, rangers had 2 men sent off and the manager of celtic clashed with the assistant manager of rangers. the press built this up into some kind of insane match, scotland's shame, etc, etc, but not one word would have been said about it in that way if, for example, alex ferguson and arsene wenger had done exactly what lennon and mccoist did. moreover, despite the red cards, the match itself was not a dirty one. shortly after that match, man u played liverpool and both jamie carragher and rafael made faaar worse tackles than anything that went on in the old firm game, but it simply wasn't talked about. celtic, rangers and scotland in general have problems, but the media makes things worse by exaggerating things and whipping up hatred in order to sell papers.

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:58 AM
well, i've never heard that about nevin. all i know is that he was at celtic as a kid but he wasn't signed up as they thought him too small, and his change of allegiance maybe had more to do with that and with his feeling that celtic was too much a big business these days, etc (http://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/news/20091015/nevin-on-hibernian_2262950_1826017)

sectariansim as a problem in scotland is largely in the west, because that is where the majority of catholics are, but it is fairly prevalent in edinburgh too, with hearts and hibs being almost slightly lesser versions of rangers and celtic respectively. whether this is because there is less hatred among those fans or whether it is simply because less people support those teams, im unsure.

without wanting to get into a game of portraying the teams as bad guys and good guys (and clearly i am biased), and simply wanting to point out interesting facts, it is worth noting that until the end of the 1980s, rangers had a no-catholics policy, rejecting kids based on their names and the schools they went to (a high-profile example is danny mcgrain, who went on to be one of scotland's finest ever footballers). when rangers did sign a catholic, there was mass hysteria with many fans declaring they'd never go back to ibrox again, etc. however, it is to david murray's credit that this simply is not an issue any more. rangers have since had many catholics and players of "catholic" origin, etc, and have even been captained by a catholic. 25 years ago, that was practically unthinkable.
rangers have been in a lot of trouble recently over sectarian singing. their fans insist on singing "the billy boys" which talks about killing catholics, and "no pope of rome" which talks about living in a society free of catholics.

celtic have never had a no-protestants policy, and ever since its inception, protestants played a key role in the club's development. jock stein himself was a protestant. though again, celtic are no angels when it comes to discriminating either, and the board is reported to have been reluctant to make stein sole manager of the club because of his origins. it was never a problem for players to be protestant, but for the manager, perhaps it was.

celtic's fans have avoided the same kind of censure that rangers fans have failed to becuase of a number of reasons. firstly, they are held in high regard by uefa (contrast the fact that 80,000 fans went to seville for the uefa cup final and there was no trouble, and indeed there is now a strong link between the city and celtic to the fact that rangers fans trashed manchester when they got their uefa cup final there a few years back.) rangers fans have also been in trouble with the police in various countries in the past decade, whereas celtic fans have not. it has been argued that the police brought about some of these situations on their own, but the fact remains that the perception in uefa may be that rangers fans cause trouble.
apart from that is the fact that whilst rangers are in trouble for singing anti-catholic songs, celtic fans tend to sing pro-ireland songs, rather than anti-protestant ones. it is hard to arrest people for singing songs which aren't anti-anybody. there are some songs which are certainly pro-ira, but none which are pro-murder (eg, celtic fans sing about the uprisings in ireland pre the provisional ira, they sing about the hunger strikers in the 80s, but there are no songs which explicitly condone killing, etc, as far as i know). now obviously, many outsiders would find this unacceptable anyway, but the fact is that there is a slight difference.
something that worries me about the upcoming old firm game this weekend is that the police have said they will be sitting among the crowd and will arrest people who sing sectarian songs. the police have made no indication of what these songs are, and there are folk songs on both sides which could be said to be close to sectarian in that environment, but imo are merely pro-unionist or pro-irish, and are no more offensive than god save the queen, rule brittania, or any national anthem for that matter.

another fact to point out is that the problems of sectarianism in scotland are dumped at the door of the old firm. sure, there are things that the clubs could do better, but it isn't purely a football problem. it isn't so long ago that catholics simply couldn't get jobs in professions such as law and they resorted to setting up their own law firms to train only catholics in order to get some people in. things have progressed of course, but there are still "catholic" and "protestant" law firms out there.
add to that, the attitude of the press. in the old firm cup game recently, rangers had 2 men sent off and the manager of celtic clashed with the assistant manager of rangers. the press built this up into some kind of insane match, scotland's shame, etc, etc, but not one word would have been said about it in that way if, for example, alex ferguson and arsene wenger had done exactly what lennon and mccoist did. moreover, despite the red cards, the match itself was not a dirty one. shortly after that match, man u played liverpool and both jamie carragher and rafael made faaar worse tackles than anything that went on in the old firm game, but it simply wasn't talked about. celtic, rangers and scotland in general have problems, but the media makes things worse by exaggerating things and whipping up hatred in order to sell papers.

Interesting stuff.

When Radio five address the issue, Pat Nevin is usually their go to guy. He has spoken about his own kids and not wanting to have them raised in a sectarian tradition hence the switch to Hibs.

I like Nevin a lot actually, a terrific player in his day, and an awful lot smarter than the average footballer.

I would concur that if anything Rangers have the worse record in terms of Sectarianism, though I would be harsher on Celtic than you were.

It's curious that while clubs in England once had similar divides they have generally withered away. For example, Man United had Catholic links initially and Man City were more the Protestant club. But that ceased to matter a long time ago.

That said, every club has it destructive, idiotic minority. Even my beloved Man City have a small element who sing sick songs about the Munich disaster, which is grotesque.

I guess the only way such things are beaten is for ordinary fans to take a stand against them.

Chris 84
Apr 23rd, 2011, 11:15 AM
Interesting stuff.

When Radio five address the issue, Pat Nevin is usually their go to guy. He has spoken about his own kids and not wanting to have them raised in a sectarian tradition hence the switch to Hibs.

I like Nevin a lot actually, a terrific player in his day, and an awful lot smarter than the average footballer.

I would concur that if anything Rangers have the worse record in terms of Sectarianism, though I would be harsher on Celtic than you were.

It's curious that while clubs in England once had similar divides they have generally withered away. For example, Man United had Catholic links initially and Man City were more the Protestant club. But that ceased to matter a long time ago.

That said, every club has it destructive, idiotic minority. Even my beloved Man City have a small element who sing sick songs about the Munich disaster, which is grotesque.

I guess the only way such things are beaten is for ordinary fans to take a stand against them.

yes well, i don't think it could be argued that rangers have a worse record, its very obvious that they do. but its also obvious that being the better of 2 evils is hardly a good thing.

everton and liverpool were clubs where religion could have mattered. everton were the catholic club and liverpool the protestant club, but that too has ceased to matter, and in fact many people have the wrong idea that liverpool is the catholic club of the two.

*JR*
Apr 23rd, 2011, 04:12 PM
Getting more worrying on both sides. Psyhcotic thugs sent letter bombs to prominent figures at Celtic football club in Glasgow. For those that don't know, Celtic are a club with strong links to the catholic Irish Nationalist/Republican community.

Then we had news of a new split in the IRA, with members claiming responsibility for the policeman's murder and now laying claim to being the legitimate voice of the IRA, in the following statement...

"The will of Irish republicans to resist the forced occupation and partitioning of our country has not been defeated," they said. "Irish republicans have continued to organise against the British presence in our country. We continue to do so under the name of the Irish Republican Army. We are the IRA."

The key thing is that they are not from groups like Real IRA, they come from ranks that til now were part of the peace process.

Questions have to be raised as to how comprehensive IRA decommissioning was.

Looks like Gerry got out of NI politics and moved to the Republic just in time, leaving Martin to deal with the mess. ;) In terms of the decommissioning process, I never believed it was complete, despite the hosannas heaped on its joint heads Maarti Ahtisari of Finland and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

There was no way in the world a decade ago (with Orange paramilitaries still heavily involved in the then Royal Ulster Constabulary) that the Catholics were going to "unilaterally disarm". Instead (to the chagrin of NI First Minister David Trimble, a more moderate Unionist than Ian Paisley) the IRA used the artful dodge that it had put its weapons "beyond use". :scratch:

Oh, in terms of the ethnic stuff with football clubs, I heard on the Beeb that there's a controversy about alleged anti-Semitism directed @ Tottenham supporters, with chants of "Yiddo, yiddo, yiddo". Ya think your country can leave the Jews out of your penchant for yobbery? :help:

Chris 84
Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:25 PM
oh, and while i'm on the topic, i personally would like to see an end of religious schools in glasgow. practically from birth catholic and protestant kids are separated due to the fact that many people from catholic backgrounds send their children to catholic schools, rather than to "non-denominational" schools, which are effectively not non-denominational, but protestant, minus the more obvious brainwashing done in catholic schools.

it is rather controversial, many people disagree with me on that, and certainly there is no real segregation in general, terms of daily life between catholic and protestant kids in scotland...but the rival schools are the exceptions to that rule.

PandoraPandora
Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:59 PM
the neil lennon hatred is mainly due to the fact that he is a northern irish catholic, and he has been subjected to years of abuse in glasgow, and was boo-ed and subject to death threats by his own fans when he played for northern ireland despite being their best player, hence his decision to quit international football prematurely.

however, i guess we can be thankful that the letter bombs sent to him were crude devices that the unionist paramilitaries would have been ashamed of, which suggests a few moronic individuals, rather than a proper, cohesive and trained group. celtic's northern irish players also received bullets in the mail this season.

recently it emerged that the head of the catholic church in scotland, cardinal o'brien, received a bullet and a death threat in the mail prior to the pope's arrival in scotland. i believe the letter to o'brien was signed as being from the "Protestant Action Group", which has been used before as a euphemism for the UVF.

as for the queen herself, if i was in ireland, i wouldn't particularly want her there, given whan the uk monarchy represents, but there are dozens of heads of state i wouldn't wnat in my country anyway, and of course that doesn't mean she should fear for her life, etc.

People on here slag off England and Britain on here yet there are thousands and thousands of Irish Catholics in England, on TV and playing sports and they never get letter bombs etc. The Pope visits, we have Muslim leaders visit, we have all sorts screaming their hatred for England while living here or visiting and yet none receive the sort of treatment described above!

Chris 84
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:20 PM
People on here slag off England and Britain on here yet there are thousands and thousands of Irish Catholics in England, on TV and playing sports and they never get letter bombs etc. The Pope visits, we have Muslim leaders visit, we have all sorts screaming their hatred for England while living here or visiting and yet none receive the sort of treatment described above!

yes, but the west of scotland situation sociologically is more like northern ireland. english protestants tend to be anglicans, whereas scottish protestants tend to belong to the same denominations as northern irish protestants. people in glasgow tend to sympathise one way or the other, and heaps of northern irish terrorists have come to watch the football in scotland and have friends here, etc. in short, the links between northern ireland to the west of scotland are faaar greater than to england.

also, name these english catholics. i mean sure, there are heaps of them in england, andthere may be one or two who are well known, but the fact is that their religion isn't high profile the way it would be if they were irish.

as well as that, celtic represents to some degree, the catholic community in the west of scotland and tends to be supported by people of a catholic background (and not necessarily practising catholic). the neil lennon problem is more a northern irish one than anything else, because ANY northern irish footballer who associates themselves with celtic becomes a target.

of course its commendable that england doesn't have such a problem, but the reasons for certain problems in the west of scotland simply don't exist to anything like the same extent in england. and there have been several examples in england and scotland as well as in many other countries of people being targeted purely because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexuality, etc. people are assaulted and killed because of these things on a daily basis and just because high profile catholics are less likely to be sent letter bombs doesn't show very much imo. and i have been at matches with english teams where anti-catholic songs were sung (leeds united spring immediately to mind), so i doubt it is a total non-issue.
hell, don't the rules of the monarchy explicitly forbid catholics to take the crown or for the monarch to even marry a catholic?

don't get me wrong, i understand that people could be upset at the way in which england is portrayed by some people, and sometimes unfairly, but the circumstances are very different.

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:32 PM
Looks like Gerry got out of NI politics and moved to the Republic just in time, leaving Martin to deal with the mess. ;) In terms of the decommissioning process, I never believed it was complete, despite the hosannas heaped on its joint heads Maarti Ahtisari of Finland and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

There was no way in the world a decade ago (with Orange paramilitaries still heavily involved in the then Royal Ulster Constabulary) that the Catholics were going to "unilaterally disarm". Instead (to the chagrin of NI First Minister David Trimble, a more moderate Unionist than Ian Paisley) the IRA used the artful dodge that it had put its weapons "beyond use". :scratch:

Oh, in terms of the ethnic stuff with football clubs, I heard on the Beeb that there's a controversy about alleged anti-Semitism directed @ Tottenham supporters, with chants of "Yiddo, yiddo, yiddo". Ya think your country can leave the Jews out of your penchant for yobbery? :help:

The story about Spurs is slightly more complicated, in that Spurs fans have long since adopted the name of the Yids, in response to discriminatory chants from opposing fans, and use it in their own songs and chants.

It will make it harder to extinguish, when Spurs fans themselves have appropriated the word. But I agree a zero tolerance approach for such things is absolutely the way to go.

That said, England is well ahead of most European countries in tackling the issue of racial chanting, so as usual you are being rather one-eyed and anti-English in your condemnation.

Absolutely there is a thug element in England. As there is almost anywhere I hate thuggish behaviour, be it anti-Semitic chanting or knee-capping joyriders like your IRA pals once enjoyed.

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:36 PM
oh, and while i'm on the topic, i personally would like to see an end of religious schools in glasgow. practically from birth catholic and protestant kids are separated due to the fact that many people from catholic backgrounds send their children to catholic schools, rather than to "non-denominational" schools, which are effectively not non-denominational, but protestant, minus the more obvious brainwashing done in catholic schools.

it is rather controversial, many people disagree with me on that, and certainly there is no real segregation in general, terms of daily life between catholic and protestant kids in scotland...but the rival schools are the exceptions to that rule.


Absolutely agree, mixed schooling across the board is the way to go.

*JR*
Apr 23rd, 2011, 11:42 PM
That said, England is well ahead of most European countries in tackling the issue of racial chanting, so as usual you are being rather one-eyed and anti-English in your condemnation.

How can I be anti-English when I long had that hot MP Caroline Flint (http://www.google.com/search?q=caroline+flint&hl=en&prmd=ivnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=A1SzTfjeNI63twespKDqDg&ved=0CCcQsAQ) :drool: as my avatar? :p

Halardfan
Apr 23rd, 2011, 11:48 PM
How can I be anti-English when I long had that hot MP Caroline Flint (http://www.google.com/search?q=caroline+flint&hl=en&prmd=ivnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=A1SzTfjeNI63twespKDqDg&ved=0CCcQsAQ) :drool: as my avatar? :p

For the same reason you can adore Ms Palin while at the same time opposing everything she believes in. :p

Halardfan
Apr 25th, 2011, 08:35 AM
There does seem to be a difference between Mcguinness and Adams. Perhaps because Mcguinness has to work so closely with Unionists in government, he has developed a greater understanding of their positions. He also seems more sincere in his transformation to a peaceful road

Halardfan
Apr 25th, 2011, 08:11 PM
The Real IRA (Hard to keep up with these factions. Splitters!) made a statement today, details in the following extract from The Guardian...

"The dissident republican group, the Real IRA, has threatened to kill more police officers and declared its opposition to the Queen's first visit to the Irish Republic next month.

A statement was read out by a masked man at a rally organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement in Londondonderry on Monday.

In a statement read out at the City Cemetery in Londonderry, the Real IRA said police officers would be targeted "regardless of their religion, cultural background or motivation".

On the Queen's visit, the masked men said: "The Queen of England is wanted for war crimes in Ireland and is not wanted on Irish soil."


They seem intent on imposing their view, despite their almost total lack of support.

*JR*
Apr 25th, 2011, 08:27 PM
The Real IRA (Hard to keep up with these factions. Splitters!) made a statement today, details in the following extract from The Guardian...

I take it the Irish Republicans won't be attending the "royal wedding"? :tape:

Halardfan
Apr 25th, 2011, 08:36 PM
I take it the Irish Republicans won't be attending the "royal wedding"? :tape:

I'm worried about a terrorist incident, either of the Catholic or Islamic variety.

Such an incident would only put more troops back on the streets of Northern Ireland, which is what the Real IRA actually want.

Regarding the wedding, Obama didn't get an invite. Revenge against our rebellious colony! Time to retake what is ours, and bring sensible gun laws and less God-bothering to your shores! ;)