Friday, September 30, 2005
Some things to ponder over...
If a General is a higher ranking officer than a Major, then why is a major illness worse than a general illness?
What was Captian Hook's name before he had a hook for a hand?
Do they have burglar alarms at Christian bookstores?
Do coffins have lifetime guarantees?
Why do the numbers on phones go down while the numbers on calculators go up?
Why is it that when adults have multiple personalities it's schizophrenia, but when a child has imaginary friends it's cute?
Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet soup?
In that song, she'll be coming around the mountain, who is she?
Makes you think...
Friday Fun-News in Brief
The move has reportedly worried Sinn Féin's Irish-American supporters in advance of next month's Friends of Sinn Féin fundraiser, which usually nets up to $400,000 for the party.
Sinn Fein short of cash? Why do I find that so hard to believe?
Also in the news this week, the Minister for Justice is to write to every member of the RTÉ Authority to complain about Tuesday's edition of Prime Time. Michael McDowell told the Dáil this week the investigative programme on Thornton Hall Prison was partisan and biased against him.
Unconfirmed reports also suggest that he's not happy with the storylines in Fair City at the moment and that he wants Glenroe returned to our screens.
And finally, US rock group Bon Jovi have confirmed an Irish date for next year. The band will play Croke Park on Saturday, May 20.
I object to these foreigners coming into Croke Park's hallowed ground, threatening our culture. I demand that they sing their songs in Irish and perform whilst draped in Irish tricolours!...though if they play Summer of '69 I won't mind.
Fun Irelander Feature-Irish truths
I think they're funny because they're true!
With that being said, I thought I'd give my own list of universal truths - on all things Irish.
So without further ado:
1. Irish flags which aren't green, white and orange look like shite.
2. People who cheer and applaud before the final line of Amhran na bhFiann deserve a slap.
3. Looking up at the top of the spire after having alot of drinks is never a good idea.
4. GAA shorts are too small.
5. When you were a kid you found drawing a shamrock quite hard.
6. You learned little to nothing in Irish during primary.
7. Irish women are quite loud.
8. When telling Paddy jokes you're not quite sure if Paddy Irishman or Paddy Scotsman should be the butt of the joke.
9. Irish history is depressing.
10. We like the rain more than we let on.
11. Suppressing wind when you're out drinking Guinness is tough.
12. At some point you've wondered what it would be like if the Spire fell over.
13. The FAI are muppets.
14. There's too much stuff being built nowadays.
15. Laughing at Brendan O'Carroll makes you feel dirty.
So there you have it. Feel free to come up with some of your own.
Good for a laugh or two!
McDowell blasts SF over Rafferty murder
The Irish Independent reports that...
The dead man's family approached a Sinn Fein councillor to organise the lifting of death threats against Mr Rafferty.
Following his murder, the family asked Sinn Fein to help bring his killers to justice.
In a Seanad debate last night Mr McDowell described the murder as cold blooded and "a death foretold".
The Garda authorities he pointed out, believed the murder stemmed from a row between the Raffertys and another family who included Sinn Fein activists.
"There is no doubt that in the weeks immediately before the murder, explicit violent threats were made against members of the extended Rafferty family in which the name of the provosional IRA was clearly invoked," the minister added.
It was a fact that after the murder the family once again approached Sinn Fein representatives to seek their help in bringing the perpetrators to justice and had been subjected to intimidation as they sought to establish the truth.
Mr McDowell said a Sinn Fein councillor had publicly stated he would co-operate with the investigation.
"But that co-operation, at least to date, has extended to providing nothing more than an uninformative, perfunctory written statement which has done nothing to progress the murder investigation," he added.
These are very serious accusations being made by the Justice Minister. They raise three very important points that must be acknowledged.
1. The IRA are gaining a tighter stranglehold on places in the South, particularly Dublin.
2. The inextricable link that exists between Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA has led to an Irish citizen being murdered in cold blood here in the Republic.
3. Sinn Fein have been doing their utmost to protect Mr Rafferty's killer and to hinder justice for his family.
The all-Ireland criminal enterprise is well under way it seems. Irish people should not countenance further strengthening these thugs through the ballot box.
Sinn Fein/IRA's murky and criminal dealings in the North must end. They must not be allowed to continue, nor to expand into the south of Ireland.
I commend the Justice Minister for taking the Sinners to task on this issue. Justice must be done.
Meme to self...
These people will indeed be heard uttering phrases such as "roysh","totally","like, whatever" and "craic"(this one irritates me especially. Dubs can't pull off using this word.
This is the fifth sentence from my 23rd post (cough) which was a 'Fun Irelander Feature' on everybody's least favourite Dubs - the D4 heads.
What does this sentence tell you about me? Um, that I don't like D4 types?
Here are the rules of this thing:
- Search your blog archive
- Find your 23rd post (or near enough to it)
- Find the fifth sentence (or near enough to it)
- Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions
- Tag five people to do the same
So I guess I need to inflict this upon five bloggers. I think I'll choose some people I've never memed before...
maca over at Raiméis
Seoman over at Liffeyside
Sinead over at Sigla
Fi over at Trixibell
and Caoimhe at The blog and I
Irish Ferries making waves
The Irish Independent reports the Taoiseach saying he will be taking advice from the Attorney-General on whether it was within the terms of redundancy legislation to act in that way.
Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has condemned what Irish Ferries has done branding the issue "disgraceful" and he said €6m of taxpayer's money would go towards the redundancy fund.
"It is a blatant move to disemploy an entire workforce and replace them with other workers," he said.
Mr Ahern said he could not defend the way the company had acted, describing it as "sharp practice" and "totally unacceptable". He told the Dail he had written to the Irish Ferries chief executive saying he "did not accept" the way in which the company had acted.
I'm pleased to see the Government as well as the Labour party tackling this important issue. Irish Ferries have behaved disgracefully and their anti-Irish policies are a travesty.
It's good to see that the unacceptable actions of this company are being brought to light.
Friday Fun's Fascinating Fact
They're talking about height though right? Right?
UI's Celtic Mythology - Sualtam Mac Roth
What do you mean how could a severed head have rallied the warriors? It's a myth! Suspend belief!
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Loyalists bomb home of three-year-old
Today loyalist paramilitaries have been blamed for a pipe bomb attack on the home of a couple and their three-year-old son in Co Antrim.
A pipe bomb was placed on the window sill of the property in Carnany estate where a couple and a three-year-old child were asleep upstairs. It exploded at about 0230 BST, embedding a 12 inch long piece of shrapnel into a chair. No-one was hurt.
Detective Inspector Nick McCaw said it was lucky no-one was seriously injured.
"When we catch the people responsible they will be charged with attempted murder," he said.
He said that if someone had been in the living room "they would have been seriously injured or killed".
Horrible stuff. That three-year-old boy could have been murdered. I'm sure the family are quite shaken about this monstrous attack.
It would be nice if the DUP would come out and condemn the loyalists for this appalling murder attempt but it seems they have more important matters to attend to - they're off quizzing the two churchmen who witnessed the IRA's final act of decommissioning to assess if there is still a threat posed by the Provos!
You couldn't make it up. What a sorry state of affairs.
Methodist church attacked
Rev Peter Mercer said that it was the second attack in two days. He said while there had been problems in other areas of Whitewell community relations in the vicinity of the Methodist Church in Greencastle had been good.
"It's annoying and saddening more than anything else," he said.
He added that locals helped clean the mess, and that local Catholics had stopped him to express their sympathy for the congregation and condemn the attack.
"I was hardly out of the car when the Catholic woman across the road came to express her condolences," he said.
The SDLP's Deputy Mayor Pat Convey and Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly have condemned the attack.
Allow me to add my voice to the condemnation. What a despicable act altogether. I'm pleased to see Catholics showing solidarity with the Methodists. It's the only way to beat these sick bigots.
I mean what does attacking a church prove?
The people who did this are vile and should be ashamed of themselves.
"It is said that in life only two things are certain - death and taxes.
"May I suggest a third, namely, that Ian Paisley will continue to growl no."
Hear, hear BH! I'm pleased to see that the British people see through this man's pathetic negative tactics.
In Dublin's unfair city...
Reports this morning said the study had found that Luxembourg, Berne and Madrid were the only cities where a house cost more than Dublin.
At €330,000, a home in the Irish capital was found to be more expensive than one in London (€328,000) or Paris (€260,000).
What a joke. This is a major problem for this country and the government doesn't seem to be tackling the issue at all.
Where are young people supposed to live?
Thursday Thoughts: Unity aim corrupted
However, as we Dubliners recover from the 'Make Partition History' rally last weekend, it seems to me that, judging from people I've spoken to here, the thing that those two words conjure up at this moment in time more than anything else, is apathy.
When talking to some people the other day, the Sinn Fein rally came up. I myself was not in the City Centre when the rally took place but from listening to the opinions of those who were, it's clear this rally brought out a fiercely strong sense of revulsion towards the party.
I learned about how young children were marching through the streets of my city carrying guns (presumably fakes) and how there were chants for the IRA.
It's clear that those who witnessed this first-hand were disgusted.
Now I could care less about those who are disgusted at Sinn Fein, indeed I strongly oppose the party myself as visitors to United Irelander will know, but I do care about how the issue of Irish reunification is being damaged as a result.
I think the words 'United Ireland' evoke a sense of apathy in alot of Irish people as people have come to associate the words 'United Ireland' with Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein have, in my opinion, corrupted the noble goal of Irish unity.
Who is to blame for this? In my opinion, the southern parties should take alot of the blame. Fianna Fail are the 'Republican Party' apparently and Fine Gael are also said to be interested in reunification (when do they get involved in northern issues?) and the other southern parties make similar claims.
Sadly, it seems the only party that Irish people think are serious about this issue is Sinn Fein.
Considering that many Irish people in the south still want an all-Ireland State, why aren't southern political parties making a 'United Ireland' more of an issue? By not doing so, they run the risk of losing votes to the Sinners.
Presumably the point of a rally is to draw attention to something. Hopefully, in that sense, the rally has drawn the attention of the southern political parties and hopefully they'll pull the finger out on this matter.
To me, the words 'United Ireland' conjure up alot of things but one thing more than anything else - destiny. It is the destiny of this country to be reunited in the form of a 32-county all-Ireland State.
Let's not have that noble objective be tarnished by a few thousand people who are too ignorant to let go of the past and to embrace the future.
Sinn Fein won't ever get their version of a United Ireland, so why then should we let them impose their ignorant version of a United Ireland on the rest of us?
It's time we all looked within and asked ourselves what a 'United Ireland' means to us.
Flood of immigrants sink jobs
It's been revealed that Irish Ferries want to replace almost 550 staff with lower-paid workers from eastern Europe.
Not only that but the workers have until this weekend to accept or reject the redundancy package on offer and if they do not accept it, they face wage cuts, longer shifts and shorter holidays.
Anyone who opposes the new working conditions will be sacked with two weeks redundancy pay per year of service.
Gee, isn't all this immigration swell?
Remember how people in this country were treated like garbage when they expressed concerns that the expansion of the EU from 15 to 25 member states might prove damaging to Irish people and their jobs? Remember when Irish people wanted these issues discussed in the open in an adult fashion?
But no! We can't discuss issues like that! For if we do, we're being racist! And that is that!
Bollocks to that. I have no problem with immigrants coming into this country to work, indeed they provide an important service towards our economy, but it is clear that there needs to be stricter regulations on immigration levels as we're going way beyond our means right now.
I find it disgraceful that Irish Ferries (perhaps they should rename themselves 'Ferries') are treating their Irish staff in this despicable manner.
People like to bring up the 'R' word - 'Racism' - on issues like this. Well this is one instance in which racism should be brought up. Irish Ferries are being racist in their disgusting anti-Irish policies.
Shame on them.
'Endgame' - But for who?
Mr Hain outlined the position of the British government which he said sought to "take the last, painfully difficult steps towards a political settlement that will finally guarantee peace, stability, democracy and human rights".
In a clear call to unionists not to hold back he added:
"The endgame is the hardest because the two sides may have journeyed miles towards each other, but, when they are just feet apart, they want to draw back.
"We are at this key moment now, and it's time for the politicians of Northern Ireland to be courageous, because we have come such a long way".
I agree with Mr Hain's sentiments but it appears to me, and many unionists it would seem, that in the eyes of Peter Hain and the British government as a whole, 'endgame' means what it means to Irish nationalists - Irish reunification.
It seems quite clear that the British want nothing to do with the Sterling-sapping six-county statelet any more.
In that sense, 'endgame' is just fine by me!
Martin O'Neill - Next Ireland boss?
Apparently sources have suggested that CEO John Delaney will not award Kerr a new deal if the team fail to make it to the World Cup finals.
As well as all that comes the news that ex-Celtic manager Martin O'Neill is the favourite to take over if Kerr leaves his post.
As far as I'm concerned, O'Neill would be a fantastic choice as manager. However I fear that such a development would be met with much hostility in certain sections of the North.
If we were to have an all-Ireland team on the other hand, O'Neill would be the perfect candidate.
As for Brian Kerr, let's all get behind the man as he tries to secure for us a place in Germany in 2006. The group's not over yet!
Take us to your college bar
New recruits signed up to the course, on 'astrobiology', in South Wales, this week.
Around half a dozen people have enrolled to take part on campus, but about 100 people in the local community are studying aspects of the subject.
The three-year degree will encompass popular culture, such as films like K-Pax starring Kevin Spacey, alongside studying more obscure texts, laboratory-based study and stargazing.
On the subject of "dumbing down", Course leader Professor Brake said: "People's interest in quite serious and scientific sober issues is often sparked by popular culture.
He said films such as ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind have their place "because they have influenced the scientists that do the searching".
Yikes. It's university, but not as we know it. I don't understand what the point is in having a degree on this subject. What does it prove? That you're a fan of Sci-Fi?
How about we introduce a degree course on Westerns as well? Instead of tutorials you could play Cowboys and Indians! Now that would be great fun!
Good luck to the people who do this 'astrobiology' degree but I fail to see what good it will do. I know college is about encouraging people to reach for the stars but this is ridiculous!
UI's Celtic Mythology - Searbhan
What is it with women and forbidden fruit, eh?
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
George Hamilton has a beard!
Why George why?
Irish people like things kept simple George, you know that. We don't like change.
Bill O'Herlihy should mess up his words, John Giles should speak in a blunt fashion, Eamon Dunphy should be pissed and George Hamilton should be clean-shaven!
So Mr Hamilton, if you are reading this, I implore you - shave it off!
Fury over heckler treatment
Walter Wolfgang, 82, from London, was ejected from Labour's conference hall after shouting "nonsense" as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw defended Iraq policy.
Delegate Carol Hayton protested during a later debate that Mr Wolfgang had been "manhandled".
She was told conference organisers were investigating the incident and would report on Thursday.
A man sitting next to Mr Wolfgang was also thrown out after complaining about his treatment.
A Labour Party spokesman said: "Following a disturbance in the visitors' balcony, two people were escorted out, having been asked three times to be quiet."
According to ITV, Labour have since apologised to Mr Wolfgang about his treaatment which they have acknowledged was over the top.
I am glad that they have apologised. If you saw the video footage you'd see that the steward's behaviour was totally unnecessary. An elderly gentleman should not be treated in such a manner.
As nice as it is that the Labour party are trying to bring democracy to the people of Iraq, it would be even nicer if they were to respect the democratic rights of their own party members!
'What If'? Wednesday - Dismissive DUP
What if the DUP refuses to share power with the IRA out of the picture?
What happens if the IMC's next reports state that the IRA have indeed gotten their act together but yet the DUP continue to dismiss the idea of devolved government? What then?
Would the idea of of Joint Authority be one step too far? I think it would. Whilst I would have no problem with Joint Authority and whilst I feel it would force the DUP to rethink its position, I feel it would be hard to sell the idea to the unionist community who could quite possibly vent their frustration through force.
What do you think though? If the DUP continue to be dismissive and rejectionist, what should be done about it?
Remove anti-Catholic law - MacManus
Mc Manus firstly comments on the history of the 6 county statelet saying:
"The problem has always been about the British Government militarily backing up that sectarian, undemocratic entity. Now that it appears, under Tony Blair, the British government is no longer interested in being identified with a sectarian regime, there is a chance for the world to see clearly the remaining problem: Unionist reluctance to accept the concept of equality with Catholics. That is now the issue, and there's no way of denying it."
Fr Mc Manus then raises the issue of the Act of Settlement and what Tony Blair must do:
"To show his Government has abandoned all sectarianism. He must immediately remove the 'constitutional' basis for all Orange bigotry and sectarianism: the anti-Catholic section of the Act of Settlement of 1700, which is still in force today. Under this ridiculous, but malicious, Act, a Catholic is forbidden by law to become the King or Queen, and that if the Monarch converts to Catholicism or marries a Catholic s/he forfeits the Throne and 'the people are absolved of their allegiance'.
"That would be similar to the U.S. Constitution having a provision that would outlaw an African-American becoming President or marrying a Black person. And if the President were to marry a Black person his election would be declared null and void by the Constitution.
"It is, therefore, this wretched Act of Settlement that is ultimately behind all anti-Catholic bigotry in Northern Ireland because it provides Protestant/Orange extremists with motivation and justification. If the very top law in England, the Queen's own law, declares Catholics cannot be Monarch, therefore it follows Catholics are inferior, and, therefore, cannot be equal to Protestants.
"And the sad thing is that British Prime Minister Tony Blair, until now, has blocked all efforts to change this horribly anti-Catholic law because, 'it would be too much paper work and too expensive'!"
Whilst I do not agree with Fr Mc Manus that the Act of Settlement is behind all anti-Catholic bigotry in Ireland's north, I do agree with him that it is ridiculous that British law still forbids a Catholic from acceding to the British throne.
It is unacceptable for the British government to have such anti-Catholic sentiments in this day and age.
Ploughin' for glory
The Irish President, Mary McAleese, officially opened the festival on Tuesday morning.
A total of 150,000 people are forecast to attend the three-day event at the 400-acre site.
I have to ask - why would you want to attend the National Ploughing Championships? Why? Why?!
It's ploughing for crying out loud!
Still, I suppose boggers will be boggers...
Two sides of unionism
He said the two church witnesses to disarmament were "IRA nominated" and his party now wants to meet them.
I find it very unfortunate that Paisley has adopted this tactic. It was to be expected that he would find fault with the decommissioning process but it's a shame he has brought the two churchmen into the equation.
That's why I applaud the UUP's Danny Kennedy for calling Dr Ev...uh Paisley up on this matter.
"It is a sad situation that other parties today have cast aspersions on the character and integrity of the two witnesses to IRA decommissioning," said Mr Kennedy.
"It is wrong to question the honesty and integrity of the church witnesses to IRA decommissioning. It is deeply regrettable that others have decided to do so. Questioning their bona fides serves no purpose whatsoever."
Well said Mr Kennedy. I think this is a good example of the two faces of unionism.
On the one hand, we have Mr Kennedy of the UUP. A party that is understandably sceptical about the IRA's intentions. Indeed, their former leader, David Trimble, was let down when the Provos dilly-dallied on the decommissioning issue. Yet despite their anxiety about the matter of decommissioning, they appear eager to want what's best for Ireland's north.
On the other hand however, we have Big Ian. A man who it seems will find any old excuse to disrupt proceedings. A man who has said the word 'no' all through his political life. People seem fed up with negativity though at this stage. But is Paisley?
I hope that Mr Kennedy will represent a willing and forward thinking aspect of unionism. Unionism which wants economic, political and social stability. And as for Paisley, I find it quite odd that a man who claims to be a man of faith, can have so much...well, doubt.
A survey of 1,000 people carried out for for 3 Mobile has revealed that Andre's song 'Mysterious Girl' is the song most people would like to see banned.
Mysterious Girl went to number 1 in March of this year following his appearance on 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!'
Surely the biggest mystery concerns why people would actually buy such a crap song?
I think Mr Andre is unfortunate though as he has mysteriously (ahem) beaten the Crazy Frog song into second place. Crazy Frog even outsold Coldplay's new track when it was released in May.
What's really crazy is that people forked over money to buy that shite song. And don't even get me started on those people who use that racket as their ringtone...
In case you're wondering, the full list of songs that should be banned were as follows:
1. Mysterious Girl - Peter Andre
2. Axel F - The Crazy Frog
3. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
4. Agadoo -Black Lace
5. Macarena- Los Del Rio
6. Teletubbies Say Eh Oh! - Teletubbies
7. Barbie Girl - Aqua
8. Let's Get Ready To Rhumble - Ant & Dec
9. Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Timmy Mallet
Hard to believe that there are people who actually bought these songs.
UI's Celtic Mythology - Scathach
Damn! Cuchulainn went through practically the whole family!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Ahern will raise man's murder with Adams
Mr Rafferty’s family claim the father-of-one was shot dead by alleged IRA members outside his apartment in West Dublin in April.
They believe Sinn Féin is protecting his killers but the party has condemned the murder and strongly denied any links.
Mr Ahern today met Mr Rafferty’s two sisters, Esther Uzell and Sarah Little along with their local Fianna Fáil councillor Garry Keegan for 45 minutes in Government Buildings.
Mr Keegan said afterwards: "Mr Ahern said he had followed the publicity of the case very carefully over the last number of weeks.
"He said he would definitely bring up the issue at the next meeting with Gerry Adams."
Ms Uzell claimed afterwards that Mr Ahern was disgusted by the murder and assured her of his support.
"I just told him the story from beginning to end of exactly what happened to Joseph and Mr Ahern has given us his full support," she said.
"He was actually disgusted to hear the full story from beginning to end and he has assured us that he will do everything he can."
I hope Mr Ahern keeps his word on this matter. This incident highlights perfectly why Sinn Fein cannot be trusted, regardless of IRA weapons decommissioning.
They are a party engaged in murky dealings and, allegedly, murder.
Irish people should not let them get a stranglehold down here in Ireland's south. The IRA's criminal dealings have affected Dublin and other southern counties. There can be no doubt about that.
They are not to be trusted.
Top Ten Tuesday - Beatles songs
One of the things I like most about The Beatles is that you can listen to some of their lesser-known songs and yet they still sound far better than most of the crap that's passed off for music these days.
To lighten the mood I thought that I would use this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday to detail my top ten Beatles songs. So without further ado:
1. She Loves You
2. Hard Day's Night
3. In My Life
4. Can't Buy Me Love
5. Let it Be
6. All You Need Is Love
7. Norwegian Wood
8. Hey Jude
10. Yellow Submarine
So there you have it. My top ten favourite Beatles songs. Feel free to comment on my choices or to offer up some of your own.
Keep out ye dirty langers!
Those from the Rebel County are the exception however as the Independent details...
"Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Cork people are more likely to be born, to live and to die in Cork than any other Irish county.
"Four of every five people walking around Cork were born there, while at the opposite end of the scale half the population of counties Kildare, Meath and Wicklow were born elsewhere."
With regards to my own county of Dublin...
"...almost three in ten people was born somewhere else, with one tenth of the city's population born abroad.
"From a population of 1.1m, over 180,000 people were born in another county while 120,000 were born outside Ireland."
Fascinating figures. Sort of surprising too. You'd think someone born in Cork would be eager to get out of the place as soon as possible.
What about yourselves? Are you currently residing in the county of your birth?
Scotland warned about high murder rate
The study of 21 countries found Scots were three-times more likely to be killed than people in England or Wales
The World Health Organisation found that the Scottish homicide rate was 2.33 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 0.7 in England and Wales.
Research from the UN last week suggested more than 2,000 people a week are attacked in Scotland - 10-times the official police figures.
Another study from the University of California, which will be published later this year, will claim Scotland has a higher homicide rate than America, Israel, Uzbekistan, Chile and Uruguay.
A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said: "We have already accepted there is a problem with violent crime in Scotland.
"But we do take issue with these studies as we do not believe they are comparing like with like, they are not helping the debate we are having in Scotland right now."
Wow. I had no idea Scotland's problems with crime were so bad.
As far as I'm concerned, responsibility rests with the Scottish Executive. The buck stops with them. Judging by these figures it seems they are letting down the people of Scotland once again.
Bigots attack two-year-old Tyrone fan
Another boy was struck in the face with a brick, while police arrested four men in Cookstown when they moved in to keep rival crowds apart.
The two-year-old was injured in the town’s Hospital Street around 9pm.
He was in a car, which was flying a Tyrone flag, with his mother and grandmother.
After the incident, a car pulled up alongside the family and warned them they would face "more of the same" if they did not take the flag down.
In the same area a woman visiting the town reported that a youth wearing a Glasgow Rangers top and a balaclava jumped in front of her car and pointed a water pistol at her.
A man also reported that petrol had been squirted at his car.
Meanwhile, a boy, aged seven, needed hospital treatment after a bus carrying Tyrone fans was stoned in Co Armagh. A 12-year-old girl was treated for shock.
I think these incidents are diabolical. To rain on the Tyrone fan's parade is utterly shameful.
Imagine how you would feel if you were this boy's parent. After watching your team pull off a famous victory at Croke Park, you witness your son get hit in the face by a bottle courtesy of vicious, sectarian thugs.
I think I speak for all decent nationalists and unionists when I say that the people who did this are scum.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh to all those who have stopped by my blog since its inception.
Your presence is most welcome. Cheers.
UI's Celtic Mythology - Ruadh
Promiscuity, unprotected sex and murder...this isn't the best Celtic tale to tell to young people!
Monday, September 26, 2005
Monday Madness - Groundbreaking Tedium
Seeing as we are likely to hear alot of military-speak today I thought I'd get in my own pre-emptive strike (huh-ho) by giving my views on what we're likely to observe in the near future from the protagonists of this fascinating story of spin, lies and total bollocks. So, without further ado:
Gerry Adams - Get the hankees ready as Gerry takes us on an emotional rollercoaster detailing the bravery and the sacrifice that the volunteers have shown for the cause. Sniff. Watch him warn those nasty unionists that they must now begin to live up to their obligations, responsibilities etc. You know the drill. I wouldn't be surprised if the issue of Garda Jerry McCabe's killers comes up in the next few days.
Martin McGuinness - More of the same, really. Sinn Fein might even tell Martin to head to America to inform the Irish-American supporters of Sinn Fein firstly where Ireland is, and secondly what is now happening in the peace process...
Dr Paisley - Will he greet the news warmly? Do you really need me to tell you how this guy will react? Gerry Adams could get down on his hands and knees and give Big Ian a big fat smooch on his hardline unionist arse and Paisley would still complain that Adams didn't bother to shave for the moment. In other words, don't expect a positive response.
Reg Empey - Sir Reg will firstly inform the media who he is and why he's worth listening to, then he will question the evidence. He will probably ask for time to reflect on what has happened. A common unionist tactic of avoiding acknowledging a positive development.
Mark Durkan - Mark will tell us that his party are the only ones to have defended the Agreement, stood by the agreement, done what was stated in the Agreement, made love to the Agreement etc. You get the picture. He will tell us that this all should have happened years ago and that Sinn Fein are following the direction of his party.
Bertie Ahern - Bertie will hail it as a great day in Irish history, a momentous occasion, of great significance, blah, blah, blah. He will stress he understands unionist concerns. You get the idea.
Tony Blair - Same as Bertie he will mention what a special point in time it is, how it's time that the North moves forward, he will remind unionists of their responsibilities to the peace process. The usual...
(insert random DUP moaner) - This is usually the point where a DUP member comes out to bemoan something that has just been stated by someone else. It could be by one of the Prime Ministers, a nationalist or someone from the UUP. It will likely be taking the issue on to a brand new subject. For example, how dare Mr Blair remind unionists of their responsibilities when he has given concession after concession to Republicans! Or perhaps the Colombia Three issue will be raised for the Taoiseach. One to watch out for...
In conclusion, if you hear words tossed about for today's events like 'groundbreaking', 'historic', 'momentous' and so on, just don't be so quick to buy into all the hype.
We've been here before. And we might be here again...
Have the IRA abandoned violence?
Have the IRA abandoned violence?
It's been revealed that General John DeChastelain, chairman of the decommissioning body, will meet with representatives of the Irish and British governments tomorrow to tell them that full decommissioning of IRA weapons has taken place.
Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness, has said he believes that Ireland stands on the cusp of a historic advance.
But what are your thoughts on the matter?
Please take the time to vote in the poll along the sidebar and please use the comments section of this post to explain your point of view.
Personally I think that they have finally abandoned violence. I think they've known for a long time that it wasn't going to achieve anything constructive.
I hope the ballot box alone will be their method of choice from now on.
RTÉ News has learned that the chairman of the decommissioning body, General John DeChastelain, will meet representatives of the Irish and British governments tomorrow to tell them that full decommissioning of IRA weapons has taken place.
General DeChastelain will present a detailed inventory of decommissioned weapons to the British and Irish governments before making the list available at a news conference.
Two independent witnesses will make a statement at the press conference to say that the promised IRA move has taken place.
It is understood the two witnesses are the Catholic priest Fr Alex Reid and Rev Harold Good, a Methodist minister.
The IRA arsenal is believed to include Soviet-built surface to air missiles, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, armour-piercing sniper rifles, three tonnes of Semtex, about 1,000 Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifles and large quantities of handguns.
Both governments will make statements tomorrow following General DeChastelain's statement.
Looks like decommissioning has finally arrived. Better late than never I guess...
Politics - Nude Zealand-style
There, a New Zealand politician has taken a stroll through Auckland - wearing nothing but copious amounts of body paint and a pair of pants.
Green Party MP Keith Locke had pledged to strip off if Act Party leader Rodney Hide won the seat of his constituency.
Seen as a long-shot, Mr Hide surprised pundits by winning a big majority.
"I had to do it," Mr Locke said. "The Greens keep their promises". His elaborate suit included a white shirt, green tie and matching jacket.
OK I have a question, why are people surprised that he lost?! If you say you're going to take off your clothes if you lose to your rival, of course you're going to lose! You're just setting yourself up for defeat!
As I understand it, the undressing of his clothes was carefully verified by an independent monitor...presumably his wife.
Man, can you imagine what it would be like if an Irish politician took his/her clothes off?
No, neither can I!
Tyrone take title
I think Kerry should have been fearful the minute I uttered the words 'the team I want to win is Kerry'!
In all seriousness, it was a fantastic game. I had read predictions it would be very dull but it was anything but.
I think there was more than one winner in Sunday's final though. I think that Gaelic football was a winner as well.
Well done to Tyrone. I'll admit it - Ulster teams are fecking brilliant!
UI's Celtic Mythology - Ruadan
Damn. Did Ruadan's plan backfire or what?
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Sunday Scrutiny - All-Ireland final
I must admit that I enjoy the day of the All-Ireland final. I'm not a big GAA fan (I am a Dub remember) but even as a kid I liked watching the football final. Not the hurling though, that never appealed to me. That sport's too rough for a Dubliner!
I think one of the great things about a day like today is that it's a real expression of Irish culture. It's a day for Ireland. Not too many other countries will follow today's events but that doesn't matter.
What I like about having a team from Ireland's north in the final is that it really gives the competition that all-Ireland feel. Today is truly a day for the Irish nation.
I won't bother making a prediction as I don't know enough about the sport to do so though I've read in the papers this week that the final is expected to be a rather drab and dour occasion and from what I've been reading, Tyrone are fancied to win. But I might have been reading the wrong papers so who knows?
Instead I'll choose the team I want to win and the team I want to win is Kerry. I know Dublin and Kerry have a bit of a rivalry with each other but then again, Dubs have a rivalry with everybody it seems. I want Kerry to win because I've had great times down in Kerry. It's one of my favourite parts of Ireland and I find the scenery beautiful there. I especially like Tralee. Besides, those Ulster counties are getting too big for their boots in my opinion. They think they're fecking brilliant!
Those Kerry boyos will put them in their place on Sunday hopefully. In my limited experience of this sport, I'm going to tentatively suggest that Colm 'Gooch' Cooper (yes I do know some of the players) will be the man to watch in the final.
So with all that being said, there's nothing left to say except...go on the Kerry!
Poll Results - Division on Iraq
Are you against the war in Iraq?
The final results were:
Yes - 50% (15 votes)
No - 50% (15 votes)
Well there's a surprising result. Not. It's one of the most contentious issues in the world right now and it was a close poll all week. I guess the result is a fair one.
It will be interesting to see what future generations make of the present conflict in Iraq though I suspect it will be just as contentious in the future as it is right now!
Nationalism and Britishness
Here is the letter in full:
"Not only do nationalists refuse to recognise the British identity and culture of unionists but also they do everything in their power to help to destroy it. It says a lot for them that they are describing unionist culture as sectarian.
It is unbelievable that this basic human right of being able to cherish and promote one's own history, identity and culture is being obstructed so blatantly by nationalists.
Why then should unionists discuss the resumption of the Northern Ireland Assembly with so bitter and so hostile opponents?
Nationalists intend to make the Assembly a springboard for a united Ireland and as a vehicle for gaining more favours from inherently anti-unionist Labour politicians, aided and abetted by the Republic.
Ironically, nationalists have created the situation where the majority of unionists are now opposed to an Assembly.
Unionists should refuse to have any talks with nationalists until they publicly recognise the unionists' British identity.
Apparently in a united Ireland, a non-sequitur if ever there was one, all cultures will be treated equally.
Perhaps nationalists should be getting in some practice now. Unionists should not be holding their breath."
There's a couple of points I'd like to tackle here. Firstly, in relation to nationalists wanting to destroy 'the British identity and culture of unionists', I do not accept this. I presume that the author is making reference to the anger felt at the recent Orange Order marches. I would like to ask, if marching is such a fundamental part of being British, why do most Scottish, Welsh and English people not partake in it? To me, these marches are about triumphalism and putting nationalists/Catholics in their place. If nationalists protest against the marches, they are criticsed for attacking unionist culture, yet if they do nothing, then the Orange Order succeed in making them look like second-class citizens.
Secondly, on the point about nationalists using the Assembly as a springboard to a United Ireland, I think nationalists will indeed point to the benefits of continued cooperation but the Assembly is simply a microcosm of what complete cooperation could entail. Nationalists cannot 'spring' Irish unity on unionists without their prior consent.
On the last point, I actually agree with the author. Nationalists should start acknowledging the British tradition on this island and should start giving it the respect it deserves. It is the only way a United Ireland can be achieved.
All in all, I think there is alot of scaremongering in this article about Irish nationalism and a United Ireland.
The only way to alleviate fears such as these is to reach out the olive branch to unionists and see how they respond. Regardless of whether you want a United Ireland or the continued existence of the 6 county statelet, the fact remains - cooperation is a must.
The new shirt
Well, they're in luck!
I've managed to grab an exclusive first look at the team's strip. Observe it here.*
Not only inclusive but stylish to boot!
UI's Celtic Mythology - Ronan
Damn. Talk about a tragic story...
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Wow! 1,000 people! In a country of over 4 million people! That sends a very powerful message which is - most people don't care about the US using the airport.
Listen to Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan (pictured left) whine about the matter though:
"Today’s demonstration is part of a wider global peace rally with large protests taking place in major cities across the world."
Hopefully they're alot larger, eh?!
"It reminds us once again of the ongoing illegal occupation of Iraq by the US and gives us the opportunity to express solidarity with the Iraqi people."
Solidarity with the Iraqi people? Gee, that's funny. Because prior to the war, polls revealed that most Iraqis welcomed the invasion yet you anti-war protesters weren't showing alot of solidarity then...
"In particular, it is shameful that evidence that illegally held prisoners being transported to Guantanamo Bay are travelling via Shannon, is being ignored by the Irish Government."
Oh no! Those poor terrorists! Think of their human rights and so forth...
"I am calling on all opponents of the illegal invasion of Iraq to pressurise the Irish Government to cease their compliance in the illegal occupation of Iraq."
I'm calling on you to stop badmouthing the brave American troops risking their lives to help the Iraqi people.
I'm sure you're all terribly interested in hearing what Green Party chairman John Gormley (who?) had to say as well...
"Not only is the invasion and occupation of Iraq illegal but Shannon continues to be used as a tool of terror and torture as detainees are spirited away via Shannon to hell holes like Guantanamo Bay where the writ of the United Nations does not run."
Oh no, not hell holes! How dare terrorist prisoners be treated so harshly!
"Surely it is time for Ireland to now reconsider its assistance to the American war machine in light of this tragedy."
Is this guy seriously telling us that housing terrorists in Guantanomo Bay is a 'tragedy'? Can't you just go and hug a tree instead John?
"We alone of the so-called neutral states are giving our airports and airspace to the US military."
Really? Wow. With this and the fact that we gave assistance to the Allies in World War 2 despite being neutral, it's almost as if Irish neutrality is a COMPLETE SHAM. Fancy that.
"In aiding and abetting the Americans in this way we will be seen as a ‘legitimate’ target for Islamic terrorist organisations."
Unbelievable. I apologise to the American people on behalf of all decent Irish people for Mr Gormley's shocking cowardice.
These people are an absolute embarassment. Thankfully they represent a very small number.
PANSY Watch - Day of protest
Today of course is the day when the anti-American...uh I mean the anti-war protesters, descend upon Shannon airport highlighting their cowardice and stupidity in calling for Shannon airport to be denied to the US military. It must be the day for marches...
I think alot of these protesters are seriously misguided and I also think alot of them have disgraceful anti-American attitudes.
Protests such as these help the insurgency in Iraq and hurt the brave American troops who are risking their lives for a noble cause.
If you opposed the war in Iraq, that's fine. But the war has happened. Saddam's regime has fallen. Now the war is against Iraqi terrorists. Terrorists who have murdered an Irish-born aid worker. Terrorists who have beheaded an Irish citizen.
Leaving Iraq will mean allowing the Iraqi people to fall into the hands of these scumbags. Scumbags like Al-Zarqawi. This cannot be allowed to happen.
It's one thing to oppose the war in Iraq, it's another thing entirely to oppose the war on terror.
'Peace on terror' as Edward Horgan called for on Indymedia recently WILL NOT WORK. That is advocating cowardice in the extreme.
We the people of Ireland must stand shoulder to shoulder with our real allies - America, Britain, Australia and the other Coalition troops.
To deny the US access to Shannon airport would be a slap in the face to America, a slap in the face to our allies, and a slap in the face to what it means to be Irish.
I say it's time the anti-war protesters got the hell out of Shannon Airport!
Villain of the Week: Gerry Adams: This week he renewed his bid to have the killers of Garda Jerry McCabe freed. Totally undemocratic and utterly disgraceful.
Funniest Moment of the Week: Edward Horgan's piece: A hilarious load of claptrap.
Dunce of the Week: Arlene Foster: She's got herself into a tizzy after a Monaghan judge refused to call 'Derry' 'Derry'. I hear she's going to bring the matter up with Justice Minister Michael McDowell. Please! With the DUP focusing on that, as well as the Colombia Three, one would be fogiven for thinking the DUP is becoming more nationalist!
Luckiest persons of the Week: The Swiss: Roy Keane is set to miss the match with Switzerland on October 12th! Nooooooo!
My favourite moment of the week: Adams' approval rating: In an opinion poll in the Irish Examiner, poor oul' Gerry's approval rating with the Irish public went down by 11% to a pretty dismal 31% overall (behind Mary Harney!). 34% expressed dissatisfaction with him. Beautiful!
Quote of the Week: "We need to make peace on terror, not war" - Edward Horgan at indymedia.
Anti-war protesters, eh?
United Irelander's Busiest Day of the Week: Monday
Gerry Adams - The fraud
Hilariously, Adams said the time ahead should be used to build confidence with those who doubted the intentions of the Republican terror group.
Yeah shame on all of you who doubted the noble Provos! So they said they would decommission years ago, hey everybody makes mistakes! That's why pencils have erasers, right?
Let's look at some of Mr Adams' comments:
"We believe that we are all on the cusp of a future which allows those of us who want to, to see democratic and peaceful structures in place."
Wow, seems like Gerry is quite the democrat indeed. Makes you wonder why his party was tied to an illegal paramilitary organisation for so long...
"Those of us who want to see equality right across the island and those of us who want to see an accommodation between unionists and the rest of us, we are on the cusp of that happening in the wake of the IRA putting its arms beyond use."
Well fair play to them! Republicans are going to show unionists that they want an accomodation with them - by deciding not to blow them up any more. Outstanding!
I have to say I'm getting sick and tired of the pandering the media does to this guy. He's a disgrace to Irish Republicanism.
Nationalists need to acknowledge his real role in this process. The reality is, if Adams and the IRA had done what they claimed they were going to do at the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, stability would have been brought to the North. Trimble would not have fell on his sword and unionists wouldn't have flocked to Dr Evil and his merry band of moaners in the DUP.
But you see Adams needed Trimble out of the way and he needed the SDLP out of the way too. The moderate position had to be swept aside to give Sinn Fein what it really craves - power. Power even if it means at the expense of Irish reunification.
If these steps had been taken around the time of the Good Friday Agreement, as they were supposed to, we would be closer to Irish unity. Maybe not by much, but closer nonetheless and certainly in a more stable environment. But Sinn Fein feed off instability. They need it. Instability enabled them to gobble up the SDLP's groundwork. It also gave Paisley the number one position in unionism.
Make no mistake about it, Gerry Adams is an egomaniac. He believes he can deliver Irish unity through his methods. But he can't. And to Adams, if he can't do it, no one can. He wants his name in the lights. He wants his place in history.
'Gerry Adams - The Irish Moses. The man who led the Irish people to the promised land after 40 years.'
But Adams ain't no Moses. The nationalist people in Ireland's north have been conned by this guy and his rhetoric.
He can organise all the 'Make Partition History' campaigns he wants but the reality is, he and his supporters are travelling down a route that most of us asked them to travel down years ago. They have delayed, and quite possibly destroyed, the chances of ridding this island of the border through their campaign of terror.
So soak up your adulation Mr Adams. Stand there and feel like a winner. Lap it all up, take it all in. But know this - not all the Irish people are fooled. The recent popularity ratings for the political leaders confirmed this. You may feel like you have achieved some great victory when this is all said and done but the border will still be there. Still staring back at you. Reminding you. Reminding you of the one thing you know deep down in your heart...
A load of Arse
He wants midweek internationals to be played on Tuesdays rather than Wednesdays to give players more time to recover for club matches the following weekend.
I've a better idea Arsene. How about we cut back on the amount of European games in the Champions League?
Oh that's right. We can't do that as there's money involved. Silly me.
I know the people of Belfast were bummed at having to put a lid on their dreams of being the 2008 European Capital of Culture, but now I'm sure they'll be bowled over at the chance to host this prestigious event!
It's sure to make a big splash!
UI's Celtic Mythology - Rhiannon
Rhiannon is a singular figure in Welsh mythology. She bore her suffering and injustic with a patience that still seems remarkable. But her real nature was in all likelihood originally connected with horses. When Pwyll first set eyes on her, Rhiannon was riding "a big fine pale white horse, covered with a garment of shining gold brocaded silk". Also, Rhiannon's stolen son was found in a stable and her punishment for losing him was to act as a beast of burden to visitors who came to her husband's palace. It is tempting to link her with the horse goddess Epona, one of the few Celtic gods or goddesses to be worshipped by the Romans.
I think it's fair to say Rhiannon is one of the most unfortunate characters in Celtic mythology.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Fun Irelander Feature-Riddle me this
Two words, my answer is only two words. To keep me, you must give me.
Each morning I appear
To lie at your feet,
All day I will follow
No matter how fast you run,
Yet I nearly perish
In the midday sun.
Who am I?
A man was found dead in his study. He was slumped over his desk and a gun was in his hand. There was a cassette recorder on his desk. When the police entered the room and pressed the play button on the tape recorder they heard..."I can't go on. I have nothing to live for." Then there was the sound of a gunshot. How did the detective immediately know that the man had been murdered and it wasn't a suicide?
Don't cheat and use Google by the way!
Friday Fun-News in Brief
The group's manager Louis Walsh says: "Michael Jackson is an inspiration and we are approaching him. The boys have sung with Diana Ross and Mariah Carey on their new album. So we thought: 'Who next?' Jackson would be great."
Wow, Westlife's legion of young fans will love hearing that...
Also in the news this week it was revealed that according to research commissioned with SEI support, by 2050 Ireland’s winters will be wetter, with an increased risk of flooding as a result of more frequent storms and localised rainfall. An 11% increase in rainfall is predicted by 2050.
How come with all this talk about global warming, Ireland still gets pissed on by rain? Typical.
As well as all that comes the news that the Government has launched a scholarship programme aimed at attracting more young women into the science, engineering and technology sectors.
At present, men vastly outnumber women in these sectors.
Responding to the news, a science student declared: "Hooray! Actual girls! The Star Trek club is going to be brilliant from now on!" Ah, bless 'em.
And finally this week comes the news that Mariah Carey loves watching British soap opera Eastenders and is trying to adopt the characters' trademark cockney accent.
"I love Eastenders and I've asked a friend of mine to record some episodes for me. I love the way they speak - the cockney accent, so I'm gonna learn it," Carey said.
It's official - she's crazy.
It's called 'Derry'
The party's Fermanagh and South Tyrone assembly member, Arlene Foster, criticised the comments, made by Judge Sean McBride during a motoring case.
The judge said that 'Londonderry' didn’t exist, but Ms Foster said he was ill-informed and completely inaccurate.
It showed, she said, the contempt felt for anything British by the southern judicial authorities.
Arlene Foster is talking out of her arse. The fact is, 'Londonderry' is a figment of British imaginations. It's called 'Derry' to me and most of the Irish people on this island and considering this is our country, we are qualified to comment on the matter!
Furthermore, Ms Foster would do well to tell her party leader Dr Evil...I mean Dr Paisley, that 'Ulster' is a nine-county entity and is not a valid name for the six counties!
Gerry Adams is a disgrace
Although senior members of Mr Ahern’s administration warned Sinn Féin any new request for the prisoners’ early release would fail, Mr Adams has pledged to continue the fight.
He said: "I’m mindful of the trauma for the McCabe family but the Supreme Court upheld the fact they were qualifying prisoners (under the Good Friday Agreement) and we will continue to campaign for their release."
Well what the majority of Irish people are mindful of is a commitment given to us around the time of the Good Friday Agreement and given to us again earlier this year by the Taoiseach that the scumbags who gunned down a protector of the Irish people would serve their sentences!
Bertie Ahern must not cave in to Sinn Fein/IRA on this matter.
The Irish people don't want those sick murderers on our streets. Adams is showing his complete disregard for the laws of the Irish State and for that he deserves serious condemnation.
Gerry Adams is a disgrace. An Irish Republican? No. An apologist for criminals.
© 2008 United Irelander.