From Irish Political Review: September 2007

Editorial Commentary

Northern Victims:

At the "West Belfast Talks Back" forum Senator Eoghan Harris said: "cultivation of victimhood is not going to bring any peace to this country. The Irish people in the South would likely as not regard you as extremely odd people. You appear to have moral problems with republican victimhood". Stormont minister Edwin Poots said: "if you are going to embed yourself in the past forever you are only going to bring more and more pain upon yourself".

SDLP MLA: Declan O'Loan said that a republican black ribbon campaign to highlight allegations of state collusion in murders during the Troubles was an insult to all victims (News Letter 9.8.07). The thoughts, if any of Love Ulster's Willie Frazer are not recorded!

Unionist Party leader Sir Reg Empey has called for the scrapping of the d'Hondt system which distributes ministries according party strength on the NI Executive: "I would be looking forward to the day when governments could be constructed on a different basis, a coalition of the willing with some cross-community element." He said that at present voters couldn't throw out inept governments and there was a role for a "real opposition" like that seen in the US and other democracies. (Irish News 9.8.07)

Gay Derry: The Free Derry Wall was painted pink for the Gay Pride festival. Jim Collins, who looks after the wall said the organisers of the annual feile thought the pink wall would be a positive way of showing solidarity. David McCartney of the Rainbow project said: "This sends out a very solid message to the gay community—we are really welcome here—Derry has changed." (IN 30.7.07)
Shankill Welcome: Mark Boyd, an 18 year-old Protestant was knocked down on the Shankill Road and had his legs broken. The motorist stopped for a moment and she drove off. Some young men ran over and Mark handed them his mobile to call an ambulance. As he lay on the road they asked him to sing the Sash and when he couldn't, they proceeded to beat him up. Then they made off with his mobile and his bike. (Belfast Telegraph 7.8.07)
End of Sectarianism? Reading the papers or watching TV in the North one would get the impression that sectaranianism was almost a thing of the past. The periodic shooting at the police (and missing) by the UDA gets a mention. But virtually every weekend there are attacks on the Crumlin Road from Ardoyne and on Tigers Bay from the New Lodge. These and similar incidents are not reported.
Carson: Someone has walked off with the bronze plaque marking the house in Dublin's Harcourt Street where unionist and UVF founder Sir Edward Carson was born. Dublin Tourism refused to replace it so the Irish Government has agreed to stump up £1,500 to do so. (IN 10.8.07) But sure wasn't Carson also a United Irelander in his own sort of way?
Truth about Limerick! Tourist authorities in Limerick are very upset by the posting of a spoof tourist site on the internet. It opens with mystical music suddenly shattered by gunfire, screaming and sirens. The voice-over invites people to relax in the toxic waters of the Shannon. It continues: "see piebald ponies in their natural environment, as they crash through housing estate fences and sample the delights of an urban drive-by shooting right on your doorstep… the city's nightlife is second to none and you are sure to dance the night away at the accident and emergency department at Limerick Regional Hospital where the friendly locals are sure to have you in stitches." It says a five-day break will cost you €240, your wallet, your keys and whatever else you had in your jacket before. "Limerick: Open your mind, hand over your wallet." (IN 23.8.07)

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