Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left


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Tommy McKearney is an opponent of monarchy! It seems this is a controversial policy in unexpected places these days. “Sinn Féin Councillor blasts McGuinness handshake” – Councillor Michael MacMahon told the Donegal Democrat,

I am not in favour of this meeting by a long head – I think it is wrong, it is premature and a step too far.

“I feel that I have a responsibility to remind people that this is the very person that decorated the paratroopers that killed innocent victims on Bloody Sunday.

“She is also responsible as Commander in Chief of the armed forces for the continued occupation of the six counties. Martin McGuinness should be asking the British Government and the Queen what is the real position in relation to the Six Counties. By meeting with the Queen he is acknowledging her as Head of State in Northern Ireland and giving legitimacy to the situation.

Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Blasts McGuinness Handshake

Under the radar we read about Elizabeth II’s son :

Cost of Prince Charles rises to £2.2m

Charles Windsor the British Royal – Living off Increased Public Spending

Anti-Monarchists in Britain are not impressed :

Republican campaigners called for an urgent review of royal finances and an “end to the ‘something-for-nothing’ culture in the royal household”.

Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, said “Year on year, Charles continues to spend more public money on travel, much of which is for personal trips. When the country is facing sweeping cuts to public spending, Charles Windsor wilfully helps himself to whatever travel funds he wants or feel he needs.

This episode demonstrates that today’s Sinn Féin is capable of more turns to the right – nothing can be ruled out – the next major step will be entering a coalition government with Fine Gael – why not? : Kenny’s Party is on the same right-wing wavelength as Mr Robinson’s Democratic Unionist Party.

In the shorter term Sinn Féin anticipates electoral gains from its nationalist rivals, the SDLP, which holds two Westminster seats – Foyle and South Down – because Unionists “lend” their votes to Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie because of Sinn Féin’s republican past – and we move closer to a two-party sectarian state in Northern Ireland.

It is a change from the one-party sectarian Orange State that ruled the roost until the Civil Rights Mass Movement broke the sectarian spell in 1968 – but also smells like “back to the past” – as one cynical old joke said : “Remember 1690 – the last time the workers in Belfast got a rise”

Another take on Northern Ireland Sectarianism, yesterday and today :

Conor Murphy, the recent Sinn Fein Minister for the Department for Regional Development (DRD), was found by a Fair Employment Tribunal to have engaged in unlawful religious discrimination in appointing a Catholic to Chairman of Northern Ireland Water in a case taken by one of the Protestant applicants…. Even in the dark days of Unionist discrimination during the previous Stormont regime pre-1972 I can recall no case of a Minister and senior civil servant being implicated through exposure of such high profile discrimination. It was actions like these that led to the civil rights movement and the fall of the old Stormont. Yet there have been no words of criticism from the rest of Sinn Fein and in fact two Sinn Fein Ministerial colleagues of Murphy’s were consulted by him in making the appointment. Murphy has continued to deny his guilt although it is impossible to believe that the evidence and judgement of the Tribunal would not be accepted by Sinn Fein if it involved Unionist discrimination against Catholics.

A Sinn Féin Minister, Conor Murphy, Guilty of High-Profile Discrimination?

Northern Ireland is changing :  A one party Orange Sectarian State from 1922-72 is today becoming a two-party Orange-Green sectarian state – the head-of-state (Elizabeth Windsor) shakes hands with the elected chiefs, carries on living the high life on public money, decorates Murderers (provided their actions are sanctioned by the British Military), while austerity is dished out to the masses.

John Meehan

Update 1

Sinn Féin Lisburn Councillor Angela Nelson Resigns over McGuinness Handshake :





Last week, Martin Mc Guinness met with the British Queen in Belfast. That “gesture” was not the result of full consultation or open debate in the party as claimed by leadership.
Pearce Doherty, TD , previously articulated Sinn Féin’s position regarding such visits by British royalty to Ireland, particularly one by the Commander in Chief of Britain’s armed forces – until such times when there would be a complete withdrawal of the British political and military presence from Ireland, and truth and justice given to victims of collusion, no welcome should be accorded to British royalty or any officer of Britain’s forces.
Last year, republicans correctly decided not to greet Britain’s head of state or acknowledge her claim of sovereignty over part of our country.
On 10th June this year, Caral Ní Chuilin denied that Sinn Fein would attend the jubilee celebrations. On 11th June, Martin Mc Guinness said a meeting would be a huge ask but there was “no doable” proposition for this. All this information came to party members via the media.
I was confident that no meeting with the Queen would occur as no open debate was taking place within the party.
On 21st June, a text message informed me of a meeting for Belfast and Lisburn councillors in the City Hall for a ‘briefing’. I instinctively knew it related to the visit. Past experience with these types of briefings indicated a deal was already done.
That morning, one of my colleagues arrived and I asked what information he had. I expressed my opposition to meeting with British royalty. I decided not to attend the briefing but, over the next two days, consistently voiced my opposition to any such meeting to party colleagues. On the second day, while in a party office, the media confirmed Martin Mc Guinness would meet the Queen.
On June 23rd, I attended a non-party political protest in Belfast addressed by families of victims of British State violence. Standing in solidarity with them, their pain and suffering was very tangible.
Eamon Cairns, speaking of the murder of his two sons, Gerard and Rory, in their family home, finished with this very poignant sentence: “It makes it very difficult for me to see how Martin Mc Guinness can go behind doors and shake the hand dripping with the blood of my children”.
His words reflected the views of many both inside and outside Sinn Féin.
I have always been able to hold my head up as a Republican. I have met and maintained contact with many relatives of dead volunteers and those murdered through collusion and British state violence.
I could not set all those to one side through acceptance of the party leadership’s most recent ‘symbolic’ ‘significant gesture’.
I joined the Republican Movement in 1970. The objective of a 32 County Socialist Republic was the basis on which our struggle was built. Many people dedicated their lives to securing that objective. Many others died for it.
Many people influenced my thinking over the years, a lot of them strong principled republicans, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs.
I acknowledge that many people, including many innocents, lost their lives. War is a terrible thing and many families are today without their loved ones. Irrespective of whether they are from Derry, Ballymurphy or Kingsmill; their grief is the same.
I am not opposed to peace or Unionist outreach. I’m involved in a project to enhance “cross community engagement” to reduce sectarianism. That project’s work was recognised at The Aisling Awards in 2011 when it received the award for “Outstanding Community Endeavour”.
I make no apologies for being a Republican.
As Republicans, we oppose monarchy in all its forms.
As Republicans, we have no need to meet a British monarch, the Commander-in-Chief of Britain’s armed forces, while our country remains partitioned and many people are denied truth or justice about the deaths of their relatives by that same monarch’s government responsible for those murders.
Reluctantly, I have no option but to resign from Sinn Fein, a party I first joined 42 years ago.
I will remain as an Independent Councillor and continue to represent my community as I have done for the past seven years. I wish to reassure those people who elected me that I will represent their interests and will endeavour to carry out my duties to all my constituents to the best of my ability.
My contact details can be accessed through Lisburn City Council.
Le meas, Angela Nelson.

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jul 3, 2012 at 12:23 am

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