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Thread: Remarks by Fr.Reid in Presbyterian Church Belfast

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    Politics.ie Member FutureTaoiseach's Avatar
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    Default Remarks by Fr.Reid in Presbyterian Church Belfast

    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/irelan ... 9REID.html

    Fr.Reid and Rev.Good were taking questions from Unionists in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, when, after negative questions from Unionists, including William Fraser, Fr.Reid said he needed to say some "straight" thing to Unionists. Including:

    Of Catholics: " "They were treated almost like animals by the unionist community. They were not treated as human beings . . . they were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews."

    and that there would not have been an IRA in NI but for this.

    Your views?

    I agree that the Provos probably wouldn't have come into existence but for the barbaric oppression of the Old Stormont with its vote-rigging, sectarian violence and vitrioltic hate-mongering. Even so, the "Nazi" term is a bit over the top and I suspect an apology may be wise.

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    If you had been one of the 3000 men, women and children living in Springtown camp on the edge of Derry during the 50's and 60's, comparisons with the early days of the Warsaw ghetto may have made sense to you.
    The laws that the nazis progressively made against jews throughout the 30's may also be suggestive of the attitudes and structures of northern society. There's more to the nazis manner of dealing with the jews than the 'Final Solution'.

    Incidentally, i recently read of Heath's and his advisor's version of the 'Final Solution' - secret papers apparently reveal that they considered resettling half a million caholics and protestants along lines more suitable to themselves. Link here:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jan2003/ire-j11.shtml

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    Quote Originally Posted by civic_critic
    The laws that the nazis progressively made against jews throughout the 30's may also be suggestive of the attitudes and structures of northern society. There's more to the nazis manner of dealing with the jews than the 'Final Solution'
    Except that Fr. Reid should know that Unionists won't see it that way. Unionists will interpret his comments to mean that he believes Catholics were virtually forced to wear arm-bands, placed into concentration camps and gassed. They intrepret his comments to mean that he's totally delusional, and a completely untrustworthy decommissioning witness.

    ...

    And if we can use the Nazi metaphor with reference to the early 1930s, then lots of societies can be labelled Nazi. Our placing asylum seekers in Mosney can be used to describe Ireland as treating minorities like the Nazis did, in that case.

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    The truth hurts.........

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    I can assure you that Springtown camp and Mosney were two very different places. I agree that the connotation 'nazi' derives its horror from the final solution and as such seems to overstate the case; what would be better? Fascist? Apartheid?

    Truth is, unionists, to my knowledge, have given no apology for what they did. In fact, they seem perfectly capable of doing it again. They are 'politically autistic', without the element of 'savant' that this suggests. Nazi describes in part, if not in whole, how they behaved. If they show no ability or interest - or even curiosity - about their own recent past then why should we care particularly about their sensitivites? Perhaps making them understand that we are going to represent it in this way to the world will force them get their act together to come up with some sort of real analysis of those times themselves. (I doubt it though.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny
    The truth hurts.........
    Exactly. People are far too obsessed these days with appeasing unionists. The state they fostered carefully was a sectarian little sh1thole which was, on a smaller scale similar to Nazi Germany. It is about time we stopped handling unionists with pet gloves.
    "John Bull has got his hand down your pants and his fist around your bollox and you can't see it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny
    The truth hurts.........
    But it isn't the truth, but rather MOPEry and extreme hyperbole.

    Such remarks devalue the experince of those who have suffered genuine as opposed to imagined and self-inflicted persecution.

    Such as Polish Jews whose numbers have been reduced from over 3 million to less than 20 thousand in less than a hundred years.

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    It is hyperbole, but not extreme hyperbole. The numbers of protestants who joined the A, B and C specials meant that the proportion of armed state representatives relative to the population of nationalists was very high from the moment of partition right up to the early '70s (I don't remember the actual numbers). Over the last 35 years the numbers of soldiers, ruc and udr has also kept that proportion high. N. Ireland was the most heavily militarised zone in all of europe - including eastern europe - throughout the whole of the cold war.

    Daily life in the north was extreme by anyone's standards. Relatively low numbers of casualities but always the possibility of death. The army raised its rifles continually when on patrol towards the nationalist population in order to make clear who was boss and what would happen if you stepped out of line. Indeed I believe that the lowering of their guns was part of the negotiations of the GFA. You can see the same occurring probably, if you observe closely, in Basra at the moment.

    A friend of mine from Belfast who is usually reliable in his information told me about a UNICEF report somes years ago (I think the '80s) which investigated the stress levels amongst children in conflict situations around the world. It compared all the hotspots - Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mozambique, N. Ireland, etc.). It found that the highest consistent stress levels were to be found in children in n. ireland. My friend's explanation for this was that in the north it was always almost war but rarely full-on war. Children were subject to war stresses but the population was unable to fully commit to war (paradoxically with the relief that may bring).

    So, comparing what happened in the north to the jews under the nazis is hyperbole, but not extreme hyperbole.

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    Default Re: Remarks by Fr.Reid in Presbyterian Church Belfast

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureTaoiseach
    Of Catholics: " "They were treated almost like animals by the unionist community. They were not treated as human beings . . . they were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews."
    What a stupid, stupid man.
    At a time where the Unionists are already suspicious that he is an IRA stooge, its hard to imagine that he could have said anything worse
    "The IRA Army Council have a history of telling the truth. If they say they didn't do it, then I believe them" - Bertie Ahern, speaking after the murder of Det. Garda Jerry McCabe

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    Kissing the rear-end of unionists has hardly been a stunningly successful strategy in the past. Let those who feel like doing so express themselves according to their lights. Let the chips fall where they may.

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