16 October 1997 Edition
Reality of loyalism
The last couple of weeks have been very informative for me and I am sure many others as regards the reality Republicans face in the present period of the conflict in Ireland.
The mask of the diabetes-inducing sweetness and light of David Ervine and the PUP fell yet again, this time though in its most revealing way.
I am referring to Mr Ervine's characterisation in a television interview of Jason Campbell, the man who slit the throat of teenage Celtic fan Mark Scott, as a ``victim of the situation''. More damning though was Ervine's refusal to address the comments of William Smith, the PUP spokesperson on prisoners, who said of Campbell ``he is well rated among loyalists''.
We know now what the criteria to be ``well rated'' among David and his party colleagues is, namely vicious sectarian murder.
We also had the Ulster Hall rally of the DUP and the often characterised ``new'', ``intellectual'' wing of Unionism, the UKUP.
Journalists present recorded the fact that the meeting ended with a near hysterical rendition of the ``Billy Boys'' song, among whose lyrics are ``We are, we are, we are the Billy Boys, were up to our necks in Fenian blood, surrender or you'll die''. It is worth noting that the ``Billy'' referred to is not King Billy, but an infamous loyalist from Glasgow who in between sectarian attacks in that city attempted to set up a branch of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s.
What did we hear from the supporters of unionism in Britain? We had Tory MP and ex-Minister Alan Clarke saying ``the only solution for dealing with the IRA is to kill 600 people in one night - let the UN and Bill Clinton and everyone else make a scene - and it will be over for 20 years''. While you may dismiss Clarke as a crank, the reaction of the Tory leadership gave the real insight into the extent of British bigotry; a statement described the comments as ``unfortunate''.
David Trimble tells us the UUP is not entering talks to negotiate but to ``confront''.
With the behaviour of ``moderate'' Unionism/Loyalism accounted for, you may wonder what the LVF were up to. They were content to busy themselves burning down the property of a Protestant family who had committed the sin of renting land to a Catholic man.
Amazing isn't it that some people still ask ``What need is there for the IRA''?
40th anniversary of Edentubber
This year's Edentubber commemoration will mark the 40th anniversary of the death in an explosion at this site of Oliver Craven, Paul Smith, Patrick Parle, George Keegan and Michael Watters on 11 November 1997.
On Sunday 9 November the commemoration parade will assemble in the Ravensdale House car park on the main Dundalk/Newry Road and march to the Edentubber monument.
Given that this is the 40th anniversary the organising committee of the commemoration expect contingents from all over Ireland to travel and take part.
A special commemorative print has been issued to mark the event, and will be available at the commemoration.
Louth C.C. Sinn Féin.
Dublin Sinn Féin Youth
At this important stage in the peace process it is vital that the youth of Ireland play their part in the search for a just and lasting settlement. Young republicans from throughout the country must organise themselves in order to ensure that their voice is heard before any agreement is reached. It is for this reason that Sinn Féin Youth is in the process of co-ordinating an activity-based programme working on all issues that affect the future of young Irish people.
Dublin Sinn Féin is currently organising its own student grouping which we intend to be at the forefront of Irish politics. While working closely with republicans outside universities and colleges, students in Sinn Féin will be central to its future Youth policies.
All those studying in Dublin can play a role by getting involved in the Sinn Féin Youth movement. Students wishing for further details can contact me at the Dublin Sinn Féin offices (01-8724858/8724469).
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dublin Sinn Féin.