morning I leave for work about 6.45am and travel down
the M2 with no one but Terry Wogan for company. I
travel through the town of Toome on both my outward
and city bound journeys. In Toome there is a lamp
post which has a double sided bill board. The outward
message reads 'When those who make the law break the
law in the name of the law, there is no law.' There
are no flags or painted kerb stones in Toome, and
on your way out of the town there is a sign on the
wall which says, 'All we ask is equality.' In the
evening on your way back through Toome the other side
of the bill board reads, 'Those who make peaceful
revolution impossible also make violent revolution
inevitable.' Weighty thoughts indeed.
The town of Toome is typical of most nationalist towns
and villages throughout East Antrim. It is also typical
of areas like West Belfast. There are no flags flying
in West Belfast, Bellaghy or Portglenone. But that
is only half the picture.
Lets visit Ballyduff or Monkstown. On entering Ballyduff
the first thing you see is a black painted wall with
the inscription UVF the army of the people. The whole
place is decked out in flags of all sorts. The best
town of all is Ballyrobert. From the beginning of
the town right through the main street and out the
other end of town there is a great array of flags.
Union jacks, white flags with red crosses and the
red hand of Ulster, and blue flags with white x's.
All the kerb stones are painted red white and blue
and many homes along the roads have their flag and
flagpoles out. So much so that one can tell just by
looking at the town who inhabits that place and what
their politics are. One town flags and kerbs painted
the next nothing, and so on. A bit like now you see
it now you don't. Funny really if it weren't so intimidating.
How come unionist people are flying their flags and
marking their territory while those of us who live
in Sinn Fein controlled towns and villages do not?
It feels as though we are being plucked clean of all
things Republican. Maybe we need to do this in order
to become respectable to our unionist neighbours.
Flag free areas, Armani clad politicians, republicans
administering British rule, and career republicans
jostling for positions in a British administration.
Its all a bit much for me really, I feel traumatised
as if I have been ethnically cleansed.
Still this picture is sure to change coming up to
election time, if we ever get one. It would be expedient
to be a republican during election time. Who is that
in the car with the loud speaker - the shinners. Whats
that song they are playing there, I know that tune.
Glory O Glory O to the bold fenian men. Votail Sinn
Fein, nah I don't think so.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives