22 September 2005 Edition
PSNI double standards
The recent loyalist rioting and how it was handled only reinforces my view of a biased and sectarian police force run by people with a unionist agenda.
No one from the Orange Order or loyalist paramilitaries was treated as Seán Kelly was on 18 June when he was unjustly interned by the British. Remember this rioting from the loyalists is the worst seen for years. Yet when Seán Kelly was arrested, he was trying to diffuse tensions which were on a much smaller scale.
You also have to look at Hugh Orde's comments on both occasions. Back in June events were described as 'criminal and terrorism', yet when loyalists riot it is regarded by him only as a 'blatant act of vandalism and gangsterism'.
Why did it take so long for them to announce that the UVF had broken it's ceasefire? Could you imagine if there was over 50 live rounds fired at police in a nationalist enclave during rioting, as happened with the loyalists? Would the re-action have been so restrained? I think not.
Hugh Orde's reaction to Orange Order involvement was to say that they had been 'inextricably linked' to the violence, but what everyone else saw was that they orchestrated and actively took part in the riots. Surely this kind of behaviour should render them an illegal organisation!
Remember what Deputy Grand Master McMurdie said when he was interviewed on the BBC about the links between the Order and unionist paramilitary gangs: "They are on our side." Maybe that's Peter Hain's sentiments too.
In this day and age with all the progress we have supposedly made, why on earth have things not moved on with the speed it should do on the Lisburn Strategic Partnership?
I refer to the lack of funds being allocated to nationalist areas when it comes to distributing cash. For instance, two thirds of the funding applications it refused were from groups in the nationalist community.
The places where the partnership has refused the most applications are in the Twinbrook and Poleglass areas, two of the most deprived areas in the city.
Looking at the reasons given by the partnership as to why it hasn't given out any money to these areas is almost laughable. They claim that most of the applications submitted do not address the issue of reconciliation. So are they going to tell us now that the loyalist areas are more deserving of these funds because of their reconciliation initiative? Take a look around and wake up!!
Sean O Siridean,
Scandal of 16 Moore Street
I understand that 16 Moore Street is under threat again, despite the promises made in 2003 to preserve it and convert it into a museum.
I would once again urge all authorities involved to take the necessary steps to save the building and what is left of Moore Street before it is too late. Number 16 may not be an aristocratic Georgian Dublin mansion, yet it is an architectural and historical landmark in its own right, a fundamental actor in the making of Ireland.
And Moore Street is an essential part of a lively and human Dublin. What kind of city would Dublin be without such areas but a lifeless and soulless one? And without any tourists because who would bother travelling to Dublin and see the 21st Century flavourless tract houses, steel and glass buildings you have just next door?
I am a lecturer with the French National Museums working at both the National Museum of Asian Art and Musée d'Orsay, and I already took part to the 2003 campaign. My job makes me particularly aware of the enormous mistakes France has made in the past as regards her artistic and historical heritage and I am now seeing Ireland make exactly the same mistakes. It also puts me in constant contact with young people whose lack of knowledge in the history of their country is appalling. And THAT, I realised, is the root of their increasing intolerance and violence because if you don't know your history, if you are deprived of your past, you have nothing like a strong identity which will make you able to cope with the challenges of the future. You build up your future on the foundation of your past, not by wiping it away.
Enough promises. No more mere lip service. Time has come to put an end to the slaughter of Ireland's heritage. The next generations will hold us responsible for what we have not been able to pass on to them. A country with no past has no future.
The real rip-off
Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm surprised that people are getting worked up about Eddie Hobbs and Rip-off Republic. Yes of course Eddie has unearthed wrong-doing and injustice. However, it is minor compared to the scale of the rip-off that has been exposed in the numerous tribunals which are now all but forgotten. Here we had the Taoiseach, Ministers, TDs and government officials systematically lining their pockets and that of their friends. We had associates of the Taoiseach devise financial schemes whereby the filthy rich could avoid paying tax, in other words paying their contribution for the up-keep of the state.
Throughout the '70s and '80s, while the rest of us were on our knees, named people and their friends engaged in a gigantic rip-off. All of this has been exposed and who has been accountable — no one. A review of those who had serious questions to answer reveals that they are still in business, still in politics, still strutting their stuff.
In the general election of 2002, at the height of the tribunal frenzy the electorate were only too happy to endorse the friends of the corrupt.
So Eddie thanks for the entertainment, but really it is only a hiccup compared to what went before and what people got away with.
Charvet shirts anyone?