number of weeks ago, I offered the following submission
to the Daily Ireland, in response to the now infamous
Fr Reid statements. I selected the Daily Ireland
as a vehicle for engaging, honestly with the republican
community and as a challenge to the willingness
of the Daily Ireland to publish dissent from the
party line. To be fair they did publish
an edited version. Unfortunately that version had
been stripped of any reference to unflattering comments
by republican commentators and had essentially avoided
the central theme concerning the dangerous use of
language to inform our reality, a
theme that Anthony McIntyre has also touched on.
It is in this context that I now turn to The
Blanket to keep the debate alive.
someone from the Unionist community, I am not naturally
attracted to your publication and am somewhat reticent
in offering my opinion here. However, I feel strongly
that I should make an effort to respond to a number
of your features concerning the Fr Reid controversy.
I have little expectation of my contribution being
published as it challenges the mindset of the Republican
contributors. That doesn't appear to be a common
theme in the Daily Ireland. That said, I
do hope that you will allow some balance to prevail.
I think that some of your readers may be open to
entertaining my view point.
general message that Republican commentators have
offered concerning Fr Reid's remarks can be summarised
and Reid's comments represent something visceral
which even most nationalists believe." -
Catholics, however, subliminally believe some
aspects of how they, their families and their
forebears were treated by unionism bear a resemblance
to the way the Nazis treated the Jews." -
are parallels between the unionist attitude to
nationalists and the Nazi attitude to Jews."
- Jude Collins
children were taught to never trust a fenian, in
the same way that German children were taught to
see Jews as devious and scheming." - Jude
these statements have been followed by a list of
so called "evidence" to support the proposition.
All the old quotes from morons like George Seawright,
Lord Brookeborough (are we ever going to hear the
end of that one), and, yes Paisley, were wheeled
out. Danny Morrison unashamedly offered the existence
of paramilitary organisations such as the Third
Force and "masked men with cudgels", as
further irrefutable evidence of Nazi tendencies.
Go figure that one!
started out with the intention of giving a similar
list of odious statements and actions from the nationalist
side that those of limited intellect could equally
hold up as evidence of Nazi tendencies. On reflection,
I believe that would be a waste of time and encourage
the typical spiral into "whataboutery".
serious point that I want to make, is that Republicanism
appears to have constructed an image of Protestants
as a detestable people. Language is the means by
which we create our own realities. The language
used by public figures such as Fr Reid will inform
a reality for young nationalists which they will
hold closely. That reality will be copper-fastened
by the support offered by Danny Morrison and others.
irony of course, is that they are displaying the
very mindset that they attribute to Protestants.
They are demonising a whole community, today, based
on wrongs, perceived or otherwise, from a previous
will not accept being demonised. I will not hang
my head in shame as Fr Reid suggests. I will not
accept responsibility for other people's actions
in the past, be it the Unionists Rulers in Stormont,
Cromwell, or any one else. I will, however, take
full responsibility for my own actions.
father's side of the family came from Donegal. They
left in the twenties after a boycott of their small
store called by the local Priest. It was a time
when people were encouraged to look after "their
own", and there were good Catholic owned shops
to get your provisions from. Too bad! That was a
long time ago. Should I now have a hatred of Catholics
based on that? No is obviously the answer. I wasn't
even born. Contrary to Anne Cadwallader's assertion,
I was taught to take people as you find them and
not to pre-judge. At no time was I, or anyone that
I know, taught to mistrust or hate Catholics.
mother's side was Maguire, of ancient Irish Catholic
stock. That must create a dilemma. What half of
me do you think is the closet Nazi and what half
is "the oppressed"? I guess Gerry Adams
must have a similar dilemma, assuming the name Adams
has an Anglo Saxon background.
am not writing this article to point score. I am
asking people to seriously consider their own realities
and what language has constructed them. It is very
disheartening that people who don't even know me
or mine should construct an image worthy of hatred.
However, I will not be provoked by that and will
remain true to my own values. I suspect that those
holding those realities will ultimately be the ones
that suffer. That is regrettable and will do little
to unite the people on this island.