Unionism given runaround by SF on parades

That a parade – any parade – commemorating IRA men is taking place anywhere in Northern Ireland in 2013 is outrageous.

Yet not only is Sinn Féin about to get away with it, but it is about to get away with it while looking comparatively good. This is also outrageous – but it is something Unionism caused to happen.

Unionism is held hostage bluntly by the inclusion in its thinking of too many people with no ability to understand contemporary Northern Ireland as a whole or to strategise beyond next week. Far from embracing enlightened people as it sometimes did in the past, it is hamstrung now by a rabid anti-intellectualism whereby people with education (and knowledge of the world at large) are sneered at. The consequence? Not only do IRA parades take place, Unionism’s political opponents get to look good while they take place. Most of all, this is an appalling injustice to victims of IRA terrorism.

Unionism has been so busy defending law breakers, UVF flags and anti-social behaviour dressed up as “culture” (e.g. the burning of national flags or religious symbols on bonfires) that it has been left without a coherent case against the biggest parades outrage yet – the one which is about to take place in Castlederg. I have consistently warned that Unionism is using a defence awfully like the one Sinn Féin uses to justify IRA violence. Now that is being aptly demonstrated.

Not only that, but Sinn Féin has even cunningly made itself look “reasonable” while carrying out this outrage by re-routing the parade, in the ultimate example of balkanisation, leaving Unionism with absolutely no case.

Unionism had better start addressing the real Northern Ireland in which we are all minorities, and respecting rather than rejecting those who bring intellectual vigour to the debate, or its future will only be ever more uncomfortable.

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9 thoughts on “Unionism given runaround by SF on parades

  1. no1ghirl says:

    “Unionism” is being manipulated by “Loyalism”,everwhile alienating themselves from contemporary,multi-cultured Northern Ireland.Sad,but indicative of an unwillingness to grasp the life boat of tomorrow,for the longing of the sinking ship.The realisation that what you hold dear,can survive the journey without the needless baggage,is lost to those unable to travel lightly.An insecurity that will be passed,needlessly,to a dwindling,but dangerous following.

  2. Kieran says:

    100% spot on again with this article Ian. Unionism’s arguement is now completely paralysed as a result of their procrastination on matters such as you have described above. It is now at the stage were credible opposition to a terrorist parade now makes one look like an intolerant.

  3. Ed says:

    Parades – whether they’re attended by Sinn Fein or Orangemen – should be eliminated from public life in Northern Ireland. They’re every bit as dangerous to peace as the guns were and only ever serve to cause division and strife, even when they’re not being routed through opposing areas.

    As someone from the Republic living in London, I can safely say that Orange marches do huge damage to the perception of Unionists and indeed the Union itself each and every year. The longer it goes on, the more people are baffled by the anachronistic bubble of NI.

    However, I’m slightly confused about why you perceive the Castlederg parade as being “the biggest parades outrage yet”?

    Do you really think Republicans perceive Loyalist Orange marches as being a bit of harmless fun, completely divorced from the Loyalist paramilitary groups?

    • Kieran says:

      Hi Ed – I think the difference being the OO has not, as an offical group, murdered thousands of people like the IRA did. I have no doubt some of the OO membership were involved in some other grouping that may have been responsible for murder, but the two organisations are not directly comparable.

  4. Patrick Smyth says:

    That no1ghirl’s comment is on the minds of many. I suspect only the biological solution will solve NI’s nightmare.

  5. Manny says:

    From your perspective it is outrageous. From mine it is outrageous that so many Loyalist para commemorations take place. I find the placing of wreaths in memory of UDR and RUC men often to be very distasteful given the sectarian rampages of the force. Don’t get me started about the horror that I had to endure for a fortnight each year in July during parade season as a young “taig” in Ballymena. Where to venture in to town risked being attacked by a mob coming back from practice etc.

    but I get on with it. Let each side commemorate their own, as long as they do it peacefully.

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