Irish Politics


The same Nolan who portrays the TUV leader and a pretend loyalist lawyer as the voices of unionist. I can’t understand why people listen to him, they must love being constantly pissed off.


Nolan is the yellow pack version of Gay Byrne…And he was a knob too.



Chris Morris and Steve Coogan should do their version.


Good to know the hunger strikers did not die in vain.


I wasn’t sure where to post this and I know it can be a somewhat emotive issue.
100 years ago from tomorrow should have changed the world for the better - sadly it didn’t.
I do believe that the whole business of poppy wearing in the UK along with the Remembrance day ceremonies have generally been hijacked over the years by a neoznazi, fascist and nationalist element within the UK rather than remembering those whose lives were lost in both World Wars. Countries who hold such services should maybe acknowledge that the vast majority of those who lost their lives from enemy nations weren’t bad people. They simply answered the call, that’s assuming, of course, that they had the choice.
I think countries such as the UK and France shiuld also remember that lots of innocent people lost their lives at the hands of British and French forces, and, in lots of instances, due to illegal operations.

What I will say, however, is that there are some intriguing stories from WWI and I managed to catch this on 5Live yesterday, listening to Burnley fan, Tony Livesey.


If the poppy was reserved for the world wars, possibly the most tragic episodes of modern history, where the loss of life was colossal, it would be far more palatable for those not clued into the British psyche.

But there’s a lot of people who would have a problem commemorating the parachute regiment in the 70’s or the Tans in the 20’s. And rightly so imo.


I agree, especially Bobby kicking it off with winning Fermanagh and South Tyrone against the bigot Harry Billy West. You’re are bringing back some great memories there.Of course, not everybody would use the exact same words to describe such a seismic event, whereas I would describe it as a great win for Republicanism against the planter stock I’m sure it greatly upset Unionist who would use a description that might go like this…

“Over 30,000 British Subjects resident in the United Kingdom left their homes to cast their vote for an IRA criminal who was held in her majesty’s custody”

What is it with those Brits eh? :grinning: :joy:


Read Richard O’Rawe’s book Blanketmen about the hunger strikes. .

If you don’t see the irony of Adams who compromised on everything the hunger strikers died for publishing a cookbook, you know nothing my friend.


I have read it.

Richard O’Rawe? Are you serious? What did the same Richard say in 1981,1982,1983,1984, 1985, 1986,1987 etc etc etc

I could go into a LOT more detail on this but I’ll hold off for now. Here is a question for you…

How come people like Richard or Brendan Hughes who were once “Provo Propagandists”, “Mouth-pieces for Terrorists”, “people you wouldn’t believe the Bible from” and dangerous liars etc etc suddenly become a beacon for all things right and honest once they stand against former comrades?


You really underestimate the likes of Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes.


Listened to an interesting debate about this on the radio (well…if you’re that way inclined).

But Chris McGimpsey (UUP) said WW1 was fought to defend the freedom of Belguim.

The other contributor stated the absurdity of his argument…by reminding him on the Allied side you had Russia who had the most dictatorial govt of Europe - plus England and France who had vast empires where million of people were denied freedom.

Reminds me of that clip of Mayor Quimby in the Simpsons.

After riling up the crowd, he whispered to his aide that crowds were like seals…throw them a few fish and they clap.


If you look at the demands and sacrifices made at the time, then at face value you’ve an argument.

When asked about this, Martin McG said that Bobby Sands was a thinker and would’ve most likely moved with them.

And there’s an argument to support that.

Prominent hunger strikers who survived…when the strike was called off…are fully behind the SF leadership.

I’m thinking of Laurence McKeown (70 days) and Pat Sheehan (55 days). Prisoners cut from the same cloth as Bobby Sands.

The biggest win of the hunger strikes wasn’t the 5 demands granted later…but that Thatcher was wrong. She gambled ‘criminal status’ would split republicans from the nationalist community. The hunger strikes proved the exact opposite.


Yet another fantastic post from someone who actually knows.


What happened with the school is a disgrace. Local representatives had to be shamed into acting on it.


What “Lot of detail”?

O’Rawe was in same cell as McFarlane and was PRO for the hunger strikers after being on the blanket protest. He knew that the hunger strikers had been offered a deal that would have saved the lives of the last four men who died. It was rejected by the outside.

As for why he didn’t say anything for a number of years later, he says that: “I was told in 1991, when I privately criticised the role of the IRA Army Council in the hunger strike, that I could be shot if I opened my mouth.” Lots of people including former hunger strikers and blanket men and people like Hughes were threatened and ostracised as well.

How could McGuinness know what Sands would have thought of what happened in the 1990s and afterwards? Ridiculous argument. McKeown has done well for himself out of books and making waistcoats out of blankets. Sheehan admitted later that he was dishonest about his recollections. O’Rawe and others wiped the floor with Morrison in debates before Morrison refused to take part in any more and reverted to the usual threats and smears.

One thing is for sure, if the hunger strikers had been told that they were facing death so that SF would end up accepting partition and ruling the 6 counties alongside the DUP for the Tories, I doubt very much it would have started.


For the week that is in it:

T. M. Kettle. 1880–1916

To My Daughter Betty, The Gift of God

In wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown
|To beauty proud as was your mother’s prime,
|In that desired, delayed, incredible time,
|You’ll ask why I abandoned you, my own,
|And the dear heart that was your baby throne,
|To dice with death. And oh! they’ll give you rhyme
|And reason: some will call the thing sublime,
|And some decry it in a knowing tone.
|So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,
|And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,
|Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,
|Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,
|But for a dream, born in a herdsman’s shed,
|And for the secret Scripture of the poor.


Don’t get me started on lack of funding for education.

Even from a hard, economic argument…it makes no sense to cut corners on the education / training of the country’s future doctors, engineers etc.

Listened to a primary head teacher the other day…some parents have donated toilet rolls to help the school budget.

He made a very good point in that once children leave primary school, they can’t get those year back.


And this:

Lament for Thomas MacDonagh

By Francis Ledwidge

HE SHALL not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds,
Above the wailing of the rain.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro’ slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.

But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor,
And pastures poor with greedy weeds,
Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn,
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.

Ledwidge, back from the war, writing about
his friend and fellow poet, Thomas McDonagh, who was about to be executed by the army for which Ledwidge was fighting, and would die.

It’s complicated.


Some very good points.

If you got all the players back at Sunningdale…and showed them what the next 30 years had in store…I think they’d have asked where to sign up. We could’ve done with a crystal ball back then.

And It’s not just Bobby Sands…but many other republicans who were either killed or imprisoned for the best part of their lives.

Given that they did so for no less than a UI…it’s fair to speculate if they’d have done the same.

Same for people on the loyalist side…you could argue they didn’t go to jail so SF had the power to bring down Stormont.

But it’s easy to ask questions looking backwards. Hindsight is the best sight.

But at the time, a lot of the thinking was based in a different context and when people couldn’t see a way out and feelings were shaped by events.

If what you’re saying is true, i.e. the sprit of the hunger strikers was betrayed…then you’d expect an electoral backlash from republican strongholds such as W Belfast…and that hasn’t happened. Which if nothing else shows SF have brought the movement with them.

Ps was listening to Alex Kane (unionist commentator) and he was saying what was unthinkable years ago for a unionist…that basically the unionist state made a serious mistake in excluding nationalists from power which led to much of power keg here.