Friday, October 17, 2008


There appears to be a carefully co-ordinated revisioning of the Irish Republican movement going on.

• A few weeks ago there was widespread public outrage at the BBC programme about the IRA escape from the Maze prison in 1983.

• then the alleged IRA Northern Bank £26m robbery trial collapsed

• next, last night the film "Hunger" was premiered in Belfast, about the IRA hunger strikes of the early 1908s...

• which coincided with the opening of a photographic exhibition about the decay of the Maze in what is left of the prison itself.

One of the defining characteristics of the overwhelming majority (but of course not all) of Northern Ireland's unionist population has been its' ability to absorb and thole a generation of bloody terrorism - and not lash back, not vote for political parties aligned to terrorist groupings, not retaliate. To sit back and endure plays like "A Night in November" which demonise us, and which diminish our right to exist unless we become like "the other side".

I just wonder when that same unionist population will finally crack, when will it have had more than it can bear, when will it finally stand up. Like the people of Chile eventually did when they finally realised the horrific price that "peace" had cost them when they let General Pinochet away with murder (he struck a sordid deal to allow the Chilean people a form of democracy - as long as they agreed to give him immunity from prosecution for the official figure of 3,197 murders he had presided over. He was later stripped of immunity and put on trial).

Away from all the red carpets, the popping flash bulbs, the clinking glasses and the chic suits - here's a reminder from David Todd of what the hunger strike "heroes" were in prison for in the first place.

So when does crime cease to be crime? When can murder become art? And when is it acceptable for a public body like Northern Ireland Screen to fund and publicise this type of revisionism and soft-focus arthouse propaganda - again and again and again. Dig through their website for yourself.

And meanwhile the youth wing of Sinn Fein are painting Northern Ireland's standard "pillar box red" Royal Mail letterboxes green and get away with publicising their vandalism on the internet and radio, while the party itself is preparing to protest against the Royal Irish Regiment troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the IRA are suffering because of the credit crunch.

You couldn't make it up if you tried. Welcome to the new Northern Ireland. Do I feel the temperature dropping even further in our cold house?....


John Killian said...

Powerful commentary! I really believe that around the world, people are led to believe that the British occupy Ulster in a hostile occupation. Somehow, the IRA and the Shinners are portrayed as freedom fighters and the pro-British majority in Ulster are portrayed as tyrants.
Your commentary is exactly the truth. God bless you and God save Ulster!