Willie would have bombed us back into the stone age!

Posted By: June 06, 2018

Southern Star editorial. Cork. Monday, 4th June 2018

CONGRATS to Willie McCrea, Free Presbyterian Minister, gospel singer, former hard-line DUP politico and Member of Parliament. He’s been elevated as a person of rank to membership of the House of Lords.

But, here’s the interesting bit. Previously classified British government papers released four years ago revealed that McCrea urged the British government in 1986 to launch an air attack on what he termed ‘republican strongholds’ in Dundalk, Drogheda, Crossmaglen, and Carrickmore in the North.

According to a Sindo report, the unusual request was made during a DUP annual conference, with the proviso that he wanted the Royal Air Force to carry out the “strikes.” 

Thankfully such bellicose mumbo-jumbo is now a thing of the past, particularly since the Orange Order is currently swelling with pride as it prepares for the 328thanniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.  Half-a-million people are expected to participate in the events, relishing the sectarian boom of the Lambeg drums that will reverberate with ear-breaking intensity in an exercise of intimidation and fear. 

But at least the RAF is not being asked to bomb Irish towns into the stone age! And that’s reassuring even if, as usual, Orange marchers will maintain the tradition of burning papal flags and Catholic religious effigies on the top of bonfires, while fife marching-bands play sectarian tunes and drunken Orangemen urinate against the walls of Catholic churches.


No Mardi Gras

Of course, although Orange celebrations on the Twelfth are light years away from Mardi Gras-style innocent fun and community spirit, nevertheless we should abide by the recommendation of politicos down South and respect different traditions. Orange parades, after all, are merely an expression of a simple desire to uphold a traditional system of privilege and power, they say. Nothing wrong with that. 

On the other hand, if we see the Twelfth as an annual salute to mob rule then the “celebrations” are unnerving and menacing and, although uttered many years ago, McCrea’s suggestion that the RAF bomb towns in the more civilized parts of Ireland still resonates with a chilling logic.