Kyle Paisley argues Queen’s meeting McGuinness puts Sinn Fein ahead of the game

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The invitation extended to Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister to attend a state banquet at Windsor Castle last week, is one of many “unthinkable” things that has happened in the course of the peace process.

Some within the Republican community will consider Mr McGuinness’ attendance as unfaithfulness to the cause of Republicanism. Some in the Unionist community may think it a bridge too far. It is impossible to please all the people all of the time.

In point of fact, rather than undermining Republicanism it has actually raised the profile of Sinn Fein and made them look almost statesman-like. This leaves Unionists with some catching up to do, particularly after recent threats of “resignation” and “nuclear action” to end the stalemate over welfare reform, including the returning of certain devolved powers to Westminster.

I believe that Her Majesty struck the right balance at Windsor Castle. All right-thinking people want to “live together as neighbours and friends.” But “respect” and “co-operation for mutual benefit” between Britain and Ireland, and within Northern Ireland, are impossible without facing the past honestly – a point acknowledged by the President of the Irish Republic.

After the scandalous behavior of the British government over the OTRs, let us hope and pray that all in authority will have a new “will and determination” to do things honorably.  The victims of terrorism deserve better treatment from the powers-that-be, and Northern Ireland cannot afford any more set-backs.

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  1. Glenn Bradley on

    I can remember a time when the statements of another Paisley rabble roused if not incited supposed ‘unionists’ to burn Police Officers and Soldiers serving HM Queen Elizabeth II out of their homes: I guess unthinkable things did happen in this process of time and evolution.

    HMQE2 has led by example on how all of Unionism should engage with historical events, with former enemies & with evolved protocol. Any citizens who profess loyalty to the Crown, her heirs & successors should take serious analysis of THEIR words & actions ‘in Her Majesty’s name’ before engaging in any future activity.

    This United Kingdom or the people of Britain and Ireland will not curry a favor with any sustained, extremism in ‘their’ name whether that be by certain victim groups or dissidents (loyalist or republican) .

    I’m not aware of the Paisley family having lost, directly, in our recent conflict but as a survivor of PIRA violence and a family that did loss, I’ll state without ambiguity: we nor any victim should be the arbitrators of the ongoing political process. Our children, grand children & the generations of the yet unborn should be the focus for any non-selfish pursuit.

    There are 1.811 million people in Northern Ireland: the majority are crying out for quality of life political delivery. Kyle is correct that Northern Ireland cannot afford any set backs – it is essential that a bill of rights with sustainable political expediency materializes.

  2. Well said, Kyle Paisley and can we have three cheers for President Higgins as well?He has shown himself to be a real statesman.

  3. Hi Glenn,

    I can assure you that the “other” Paisley did not incite supporters to attack the homes of Police officers. In fact, he was the very man who condemned the burning of policemen’s homes by loyalists, when hardly another unionist would open his mouth.

    You are right that the Paisley family has not lost directly in the Troubles, but by heck we came very close on several occasions! I witnessed a direct attack by the INLA. Our family home was the target of attack. We were eyed by extremists on both sides – loyalists as well as republicans.

    I take your point that the ongoing process must address the hurt and pain still felt by the victims of terrorism. I think this is just the reason why the scandal of the OTRs must be properly addressed. Hearts, lives and families have been broken and the province cannot move forward if this matter is fudged in any way, or swept under the carpet.

    Do you think the idea of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission is useful? Id be interested in your view on this. Do you think it would be a fudge?

    Kyle Paisley

    • Glenn Bradley on

      Hi Kyle,

      I respect your father but we’ll have to agree to disagree on perceptions. As a soldier serving here in 1985 during the Anglo-Irish Agreement, my perception is that the Third Force was the militant spectra in Loyalism, and it’s membership was largely behind the orchestrated violence directed at Police Officers homes, and both Officers & Soldiers on duty holding the peace in the streets.

      I accept you and your family have been targeted. As someone forced to move home on occasion due to threat I completely empathize.

      The recent hype around OTRs I find strange. When a Party Officer within the UUP holding the first tentative talks with Belfast Republicans, Joe Austin and Pat McGeown, the OTR case was raised along with prisoners. That was late 1994. In the negotiations leading the the GFA, the topic was again consistently raised though I accept the concept was parked by Trimble for ‘resolution later’. As an issue it certainly isn’t new.

      The 2 main protagonists during the Troubles where PIRA and the Army of Her Majesty’s Government. Next to innocent casualties members of the Regular Field Army are statistically the body that lost the largest life, and who suffered the most injuries. While the policy of ‘Ulsterization’ led to a less overt control by Her Majesty’s successive Governments in the administration of here, and a reduction in members of the Field Army as local security units like the UDR were increased, the fact is that ‘the little battles’ were largely between PIRA and the Army. Should we therefore be shocked that given local unionist reluctance on the issue of the OTRs that HMG devise a structure and process that satisfies both protagonist needs, in this day?

      Not withstanding, the OTRs is just 1 of many outstanding unresolved issues to be managed today. While I never thought Team Haass-O’Sullivan where the immediate silver bullet, I did hold out hope that the matters could have been agreed for resolution. I found it completely frustrating as an observer, and commentator to see dissident Loyalists being formally briefed on the talks process by elements of Political Unionism. Could you imagine the fury had Gerry Kelly or other Sinn Fein members been discovered briefing dissident Republicans on the talks progress?

      Of 2 things I am certain: doing nothing is not an option and unionist chats with itself in the mirror or it’s cronies will not evolve things. As a pro-Union voter I am for getting back to Haass-O’Sullivan and exploring what further can be done. I also don’t believe HMG or the IG can be trusted to remedy matters so I am actually all for an International oversight committee.

      Finally, as a victim of violent terrorism who carries the scars on my body and as a family who lost, we feel a great deal of generosity is needed. We could be selfish, focused on our own pain in the pursuit of a narrow minded agenda but we choose not to be like that. As stated, the end to suffering for our children, grandchildren and yet unborn generations should be the focus – I’ll gladly accept a fudge in my lifetime to assure stability and an equal society long term. One day you and me will be dead as will our generation, and all these pressing matters of today will be a blip in history.

  4. HRH and President O’Dalaigh by their meeting in London have set a wonderful example for everyone to follow. Peace is a priceless commodity and each of us has a duty to ensure that the Peace now firmly in place can grow and flourish.

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