Unionists Lack Someone To Lead Them To Peace

Posted By: September 13, 2005

Unionists Lack Someone To Lead Them Into Peace

(Susan McKay, Irish News) September 13, 2005

“You’re not going to ballyrag me and say I’m
responsible,” Ian Paisley said. “There’s no use
picking on me,” Sir Reg Empey said. We said
there’d be trouble and we were proved right, both
of these leaders of unionism said yesterday,
after a weekend of unionist mayhem on the
streets. “There’s matters in the Protestant
community must now be faced up to,”

Mr Paisley said. There most certainly are.

Unionism has failed and failed utterly. Its
leaders have once again stirred up a gullible
people to a frenzy of hatred against their
Catholic neighbours and then sat back, content
that the Unionist family has been reunited. Love

In 1966, Mr Paisley prayed for power: “When the
fuse of true prayer is set alight with the fire
of the holy ghost and thus the gospel dynamite is
exploded, what tremendous results occur!” He was
in prison at the time, for unlawful assembly.

Three years later, the Cameron Report found that
this man “must bear a heavy share of
responsibility for the disorders”. Last week,
nearly 40 years of ranting later, Mr Paisley was
warning: “This could be the spark that kindles a
fire there will be no putting out.”

And so it came to pass.

What is wrong with the unionists?

Are they under siege?

Is the IRA attacking and killing them again? We
are betrayed, conspired against, abandoned, they

Our guns have been taken, our watchtowers
dismantled. The British have rewarded the IRA for
its violence.

The last straw has broken the camel’s back.

Here is the grievance.

The Orange Order wanted to march through a
Catholic area. Local Catholics objected because
of past violence. The Parades Commission said the
order had to reach agreement with the Catholics.

The order said it couldn’t, because it didn’t
talk to terrorists. The Parades Commission ruled
that the march could go ahead but would have to
divert away from a short stretch of one road.

Cue dire warnings from Mr Paisley and murmurings
to the same effect from Sir Reg. The UVF said it
would force the parade through the disputed area.
Did the Orange Order come out and denounce this
offer of assistance from terrorists? Far from it.
Orange leader Dawson Baillie called the people
out onto the streets. If there was trouble, he
said, it wouldn’t be the order’s fault. There are
banners on the Shankill Road commemorating
Worshipful Brother Brian Robinson, who killed
Catholics for the UVF and marched with his Loyal
Orange Lodge.

In 1998, Mr Paisley warned the authorities that
they had better let the Orangemen march down the
Garvaghy Road from Drumcree. If they didn’t, he
said, “anyone with any imagination knows what is
going to happen”.

On the day Mr Paisley had designated as ‘the
decider’, loyalists murdered the three Quinn
children by burning them to death in their home
in Ballymoney.

Since the LVF broke away from the UVF in 1996 to
murder Michael McGoldrick to try and force the
Drumcree issue, there have been more than a dozen
murders which can be directly linked to the
parades issue. Now Paisley and his allies are
trying to turn north Belfast into the new

So out they came, the fools, with guns, blast
bombs, petrol bombs, stones and bottles. People
were dragged out of cars and buses and robbed
before their vehicles were burned.

Gunmen fired on the police.

The Catholics who haven’t already been terrorised
out of places like Ahoghill were barricaded in
while their homes were attacked.

What tremendous results!

This is an atavistic rage. One member of the
loyal orders is reported to have shouted at a
policeman during the trouble last weekend, “Are
you a fenian in disguise?” On September 10 2005,
pikes were pointed at Catholics in Belfast by
loyalist militiamen. The Republic needs to wake
up. President McAleese means well but is she sure
that hugging a loyalist paramilitary leader in
Belfast is the right image for the moment? And
should a set-piece RTE interview with Mr Paisley
focus on trying to cajole him into admitting that
he’s really a nice old codger underneath it all?
(He didn’t). The IRA is about to abandon its

That is what is wrong. For all the DUP’s talk
about the “new spirit” within unionism,

Mr Paisley doesn’t know how to lead his people
into peace. Sir Reg doesn’t either. What will
they do when the foe is gone? Who will the loyal
people of the Shankill and Glenbryn and
Harryville and Ahoghill blame for their poverty