‘Oh Gerry Boy, The Trees, The Trees Are Falling’ – By Jane de Courcey

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The wheels are coming off the Republican wagon – to the extent that Gerry’s jalopy is beginning to look like a tired old charabanc.

Leaving the collateral damage of recent gun-led events aside, Republicanism has been exposed as hypocritical and hysterical in its unending criticism of Loyalists and Unionists.

For years, Republicans have claimed the moral high-ground in a battle of political correctness in which they try to portray Loyalists as intellectual minnows with a penchant for occasional savagery.

Blame for this demonisation of the PUL community should not be left at the door of Sinn Féin alone … the SDLP and ‘middle-of-the-road Alliance Party’ can hop onto a bandwagon quicker than a Calais migrant jumping into a lorry.

But Republicans do it with gusto, squealing with ill-disguised delight when some moron in a Loyalist area decides to throw a brick through the window of a hard-working Polish family.

There’s the underlying message that Loyalists are hate-filled xenophobes, wedded to racist ideology and determined to purge anyone who doesn’t have the right accent or skin-colour from their midst.

Of course, racism would never happen in a Republican community…

And then there’s that horrible sectarian graffiti, warning Catholics to keep out and suggesting that those who cleave to the harlot of Rome are not welcome.

Indeed, this unpleasant concept did make an appearance in July, when the slogan ‘Taigs Will Be Crucified’ was daubed (bad graffiti is always ‘daubed’) on a wall in Belfast.

I’m sure that most Loyalists will agree that it was wrong, it was vile and it did a great disservice to the vast majority in the PUL community.

Of course, sectarian graffiti would never happen in a Republican community…

And then we have the bonfires, hate-filled celebrations where Loyalists burn Tricolours, election posters of SF candidates and … em … more Tricolours. As far as I’m aware, no actual Sinn Féin candidate has ever been burned on a boney.

And rightly so. Yet SF, the SDLP and ‘middle-of-the-road Alliance Party’ types line up to castigate Loyalist bonfires on all-sorts of pretexts, ranging from carbon dioxide output to grass-damage.

I would respectfully suggest that the CO2 output in an average Alex Attwood address during monitoring-round debates at Stormont is more than that of the entire bonfire night emissions.

And when it comes to noxious exhalations, Sinn Féin is close to having a monopoly on Northern Ireland’s annual methane output.

Anyway, burning election posters and flags is bad.

Of course, it would never happen in a Republican community…

So there we have it. A simple equation. Republicanism = nice, politically-correct immigrant-loving goodness and Loyalism = knuckle-dragging barbarianism with an obsession for burning things

The problem is that a few who might describe themselves as ‘Loyalist’ have endeavoured to live up to the stereotypes and in so doing give the entire PUL community a bad name. Shame on them.

But in the forest of politically-correct shibboleths, some big Republican trees have been falling. Which reminds me of that wonderful and unanswerable question: ‘If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’

The fact is that up until now no-one has been listening out for the sound of tumbling Republican trees…

Racism? Take the case of black writer Tim Brannigan, a time-served Republican whose home came under attack during the anti-internment bonfire celebration in West Belfast recently.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘I went out the front and I could hear them shouting and they were shouting “get out you black bastard” and they used the n word the whole time and laughing and shouting my name the whole time.’

Graffiti? Newtownabbey unionists were reminded that they’d be best not trying to get houses in a new development when Republican wall-scrawlers declared that Protestants would be ‘bombed, burnt-out and shot’.

Some claim that this is an adjunct to ethnic-cleansing of Protestants in greater North Belfast.

Bonfires? Republicans hate bonfires so much that they wouldn’t have them about the place. Right? Not so for the hate-filled Cregganites in Londonderry (Derry if you wish!) who not only torched Union and Ulster flags, but a stolen Poppy wreath.

The idiots who did this might be overlooking the fact that their great-grandfathers fought in WW1 but for them the Poppy is something to hate. There are also reports that they burned an effigy of a British soldier.

Would those responsible for the attack on Tim Brannigan, the Newtownabbey graffiti or the Londonderry bonfire claim to be Republicans? Most likely, just as those on the flipside of hatred’s tarnished coin claim to be Loyalists.

So let us no longer accuse so-called Loyalists of having a monopoly on racism, sectarianism or outright hatred for ‘the other sort’. Republicanism unmasked is just as nasty as that which it purports to oppose.

Sshh … is that the sound of a falling tree? Or is it just Gerry’s jalopy driving away from the truth?

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  1. Dear Ms De Courcey,
    while the points you make may have a greater or lesser degree of validity, depending upon one’s background, the language you use in making them is that of sarcasm, contempt and sectarianism and it is hard to read your piece without feeling sullied by the whole confrontational tone. You may not give a damn about this and your piece may only be written to give comfort to your own section of the community. This, in my opinion, renders it essentially worthless. You could easily have made your points in a manner and tone that would have found at least some agreement from moderate members of the nationalist community; instead, all you have done is made it easy for anyone to dismiss your writing as unbalanced and sectarian. I say this as someone who is not a republican, nor a catholic, but who desires to see an end to all sectarianism in our community.

  2. very, very poor, petty sectarian point scoring. And what the hell have the actions of a handful of yobbish scumbags (very publicly rejected by their own community) got to do with “The wheels are coming off the Republican wagon”? If anything exceptions like those quoted with such glee prove that SF generally, and Gerry Adams in particular, have been instrumental in moving the Nationalist/Republican/Irish community AWAY from sectarianism towards, if not respect, at least acceptance and tolerance of the PUL community.

  3. Would the points of this post have been dulled if it was pruned of whataboutery and sarcasm?

    I know that this angle is the common format of the newsletter letter’s page, that doesn’t mean that it is ideal for furthering the unionist cause.

    “And rightly so. Yet SF, the SDLP and ‘middle-of-the-road Alliance Party’ types line up to castigate Loyalist bonfires on all-sorts of pretexts, ranging from carbon dioxide output to grass-damage.”

    Generally they criticise sectarian bonfires in general, not just loyalist ones. It is an unpalatable truth that the majority of them are loyalist bonfires. The republican mirror images, though equally grotesque are very much fringe events.
    Unionist politicians defend the loyalist bonfires, republican politicians put the brake on the culture of bonfires early on and turned it into a festival in Belfast.

    I’m sorry if that makes unionism looks bad, but it is what it is.

    There are more loyalist bonfires – fact. Republicans did something to change their bonfire culture – fact.

    There are signs of change e.g. Woodvale bonfire but that is the exception rather than the norm.

    If this vexes you then you are vexed by reality. Not TV, media, fenians, letsgetalongerists, LAD, Brian John Spencer or whomever. You are annoyed at what is actually happening. Rather than sarcastically highlighting perceived republican hypocrisy how about lambasting elements of loyalism that let the side down (which you have already done, but the point was lost in the tone of the blog).

    People are constantly listening for republican trees falling. As soon as a branch bows there’s posts all over the likes of Slugger O’Toole and the Newsletter.

    No one(of importance) accuses loyalism of having the ugly monopolies that you refer too. It just so happens that loyalism is not prepared to condemn these acts when they do happen.

    They day unionists start to visibly and uniformly object to these acts then perception will be broken, alas rather than go against the tribe and be daubed a Lundy most unionists would rather attempt to take nationalism down with them rather than cut themselves adrift altogether.

    This is how it was, is and probably will be for some time.

    Nationalism is vulnerable now and it wouldn’t take much to sweep away the feet from under it, but most unionists aren’t prepared to pay the price.

    The fluke of Derry in 1688 – 89 served to teach modern day unionism the wrong lessons.

  4. Really poor post!
    Full of deflection and cherry picked info which somehow aims to exonerate endemic racism within contemporary Loyalism.
    If I were a Loyalist I would spend my time concentrating on helping to educate youths rather than blaming others for obvious shortcomings.
    As usual with Loyalism, it’s always someone else’s fault, be it Republicans, Statutory Authorities, PSNI, judicial system, British Government etc, the list goes on……. And on……

  5. Kodaline listener on

    Nothing more than a verbose, unhelpful, and unnecessary demonstration of “themmuns” and “whataboutery”.

    I thought this website was better than this.

  6. As with so many articles on this subject, much is promised in the opening, but at the close, nothing has been delivered. True, there is sarcasm but it’s of poor quality. True there are accusations, but then what else would you expect? Overall, this article is rather like the trees around certain people; you would like one to fall provided the tree itself is uninjured.

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