Hard to comprehend tribal animosity still exists

Posted By: September 13, 2017


Distributed by Irish National Caucus
“Here is another useful Irish News letter for Members of Congress. It expresses very well the ‘voice of the people’ in the Nationalist/Republican (Catholic) community in Northern Ireland.
Despite the progress of the Good Friday Agreement, we still have a long way to go. Orange anti-Catholic bigotry is still deeply rooted— anyone who does not realize this does not understand the problem in Northern Ireland. However, it is not the Orangemen who historically created the policy of anti-Catholic oppression and exclusion as a political weapon. It was the British Government.”—Fr. Sean McManus

Letters to Editor.Irish News. Belfast.Wednesday, September 13, 2017
P McKenna. Newry. County Down.

BBC broadcaster Stacey Dooley visited Northern Ireland to investigate the DUP’s £1bn payoff. She also expressed her shock at the scenes she witnessed at an Eleventh-night bonfire (August 8).

It is impossible for any rational person living beyond the bounds of these six counties to comprehend the tribal animosity that still exists. In almost every other conflict, the antagonism abates eventually, here, the hatred is perpetuated annually by the raising of tension which culminates in the Eleventh-night diatribe, as witnessed by Ms. Dooley. Bonfires are bedecked with every thing Catholic, nationalist and Irish and the Catholic community is seen as being synonymous with the IRA. It is highly unlikely that any of the bonfire builders remember an IRA atrocity and it is equally unlikely any of them know anyone from the Catholic community on a personal level.

The Orange Order purports to hold biblical principles but teaches an anti-Catholic doctrine which would have more relevance in the 17th century. The Orange Order virtually ran Northern Ireland for 50 years – practically every elected Unionist in the old Stormont was a member. Orange Order-controlled Unionists were given carte blanche by the British to distribute funds as they pleased and began by building the most ostentatious parliament building, which was a Unionist preserve, both in terms of elected members and civil servants; Westminster handouts then funded ‘Protestant jobs for Protestant workers’ while Catholics were forced to emigrate.

Unionists of today know full well that their forefathers discriminated in the most blatant fashion imaginable; they also know the security forces colluded in acts of terrorism. Neither of these abhorrences could have happened without the acquiescence of the British government.

As for the billion pound pay off – judging by history – it is most unlikely that it will be spent for the benefit of “all the people” as Sir Jeffrey Donaldson promised.