McAllister and Co, hypocrites and liars!

I see that the first public meeting of the "Quinn Support group" has occurred. BBC report that 200 people turned up (that wasn't the figure I received but that is beside the point).

In light of this tactic by McAllister I thought it prudent to put into the public domain a letter from Jim McAllister.

According to people I have spoken to these letters have been sent to many community and sporting groups throughout South Armagh.

This letter was passed on to me by a person who was concerned about the role of Jim McAllister in this group. I would direct you to the third point in the letter. In it Jim states

"We would be grateful if you could put us in touch with anyone in your area who may have been the victim of intimidation or subjected to a punishment attack"

Now this leads to many questions.....

1. Are Jim McAllister and Pat McNamee only concerned with punishment attacks that occurred after they left the movement or are they also concerned with attacks that occurred while they were members??

2. How does seeking to unite every anti-Republican in South Armagh in anyway advance the Quinn family search for truth and justice?

3. Bearing in mind the type of people in South Armagh who have received punishment beatings (rapists, murderers, drug dealers, thieves, child abusers etc) are these the type of people that Jim and Co now seek to stand shoulder to shoulder with?

Do they not realise the anger that is building within the community over their attempts to seek support from those who have inflicted so much suffering on the South Armagh community?

This is clear evidence of McAllister and Co trying to build up an anti-Republican group and it shows their true intentions. They are only interested in their own failed and rejected politics.

They care not about truth or justice!

Is it not about time that the attacks upon innocent people in the Cullyhanna and Crossmaglen area stopped? Is it not about time that Jim and Co speak to some of the people that they have been winding up with bullshit for weeks?

It's unfair that innocent people are having their homes attacked and themselves assulted just so these people can peddle their lies and innuendo.

There are some good people on the Quinn Support group, people who are only concerned about achieving justice for the Quinn family. These people are unlike McAllister and Co as they have no other political objectives.

I only hope that in time they will see through these people for what they really are.

Blue-shirts not happy with Stoops

I see that chief Blue-shirt Enda Kenny has warned Mark "concise" Durkan and indeed the SDLP that it risks souring relations with the other partitionist parties if it creates any formal ties with Fianna Fáil.

I personally would like to know what benefits the stoops have ever gained from their constant tea and biscuits with Fine Gael and Co, or indeed Finna Fáil for that matter?

I mean I have witnessed Dermot Ahern canvassing on behalf of the SDLP, the same is also true for Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte, and we still roasted them in the election.

I mean when you are as inactive, as unrepresentative and as useless as the SDLP it doesn't really matter what the Southern establishment parties are saying.

Fianna Fáil are like vultures hovering over the rotting corpse of the SDLP, just waiting for the opportune time to swoop in for the kill.

So whether we are facing the stoops in South Armagh or stoops with Fianna Fáil badges and brown envelopes it doesn't really matter. The outcome for them will still be the same either way.

We will continue to advance and they will continue to retreat further into political irrelevancy.


Harney's head should roll!

I have followed the deepening crisis in the Irish health service with a great degree of anger and unease.

One can not help but feel for these poor women who have had their lives torn apart by the utter incompetence of doctors, the HSE, Mary Harney and lastly the Irish government.

These women and their families have had to deal with this cruel situation because nobody in the establishment or the health service has a pair of balls. Nobody has the guts to take responsibility for their actions.

Doctors pass the blame upstairs to the management, the management blame the HSE and the HSE blame the government.

Bertie Ahern lacks the balls to sack the Minister for Health, something that would happen in any other country under the current circumstances. The fact remains though that in Irish society nobody falls on their sword, their is a total abdication of responsibility.

Mary Harney is now facing a vote of no confidence, I personally have no confidence in that vote.

Sinn Féin, Fine Gael and the Labour party will be pushing for her resignation but I don't have much hope.

The Green party have sold their soul to this arrangement and even though they know she is incompetent they will not wield the knife, we will see no Et tu, Brute? moment from that shower.

We then have the quite ironic position of many of the so-called "independents". As most come from the Fianna Fáiler gene pool we will see no independence of conviction from them. How will Finian McGrath vote on this one?

Many Finna Fáil back benchers believe she should be sacked but Haughyism has returned to Fianna Fáil in the form of Bertie's SS enforcer Tom Kitt.

As Chief Whip he has enforced a three line whip and said that any back bencher who fails to vote or who votes against Mary Harney will face expulsion from the Brown Envelope Brigade aka Fianna Fáil.

Bertie has rejected calls for TD's to be allowed a free vote. This comes after rebel TD Ned O'Keeffe called on Harney to resign.

Mr O'Keeffe said: "I think Mary Harney should resign. This is a more serious issue. It's a matter of life and death [that] is involved for many unfortunate female persons across the island of Ireland."

The Cork East TD has been a pain in Bertie's side and failed to turn up for last months no confidence vote in the Taoiseach.

How are these sheep in Fianna Fáil going to face their constituents after they vote in favour of Harney?? Is there a backbone amongst them?

The HSE was created by Fianna Fáil as a buffer between them and the public to hide their failure, despite large sums of money being invested, to transform the health service.

Mary Harney is not interested in creating a better health service for all, she is intent on creating a better one for the rich as evidenced by co-location.

If you are poor, indeed even if you are what is described as "comfortable", and unwell then the message from this government is a big "Fuck you!"

No more room at the inn!

UPDATE: Harney survives vote of No-Confidence by 83 votes to 73 and Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keefe resigned the party whip and in effect from the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party in protest over the crisis.


Ulterior motives

I see that a committee has been established which purports to pursue justice for the family of slain Cullyhanna man Paul Quinn.

Now before any of the bloggers on this thread attempt to stick the boot into me over this post, let me categorically state that I support the Quinn family's attempts to achieve justice for their son 100%. It was a most heinous murder and those who perpetrated it need to be brought to justice. No one can question a family's desire to see justice for a murdered love one.

However I have grave concerns about this committee. I fear that the Quinn family are unknowingly being manipulated by criminal and anti-republican elements to further an anti-republican agenda. This is not concerned with achieving justice for Paul Quinn.

It will be a grave indictment of these elements if they do, as I suspect they will and already have, seek to exploit the murder of a young man to further their own ends. This is not in the best interests of anyone, least of all the Quinn family.

These elements will support the Quinn family until it remains viable to pursue an anti-republican agenda through this avenue. Whenever another seemingly 'worthy' cause to stick the boot into republicans comes along they will drop the Quinn family like a bag of spuds. Look what happened to Davy Hyland's campaign. Where are those people who backed him now? They failed to get their pound of flesh so they fucked off leaving him high and dry and to wallow in his own self pity. The same will invariably happen to the Quinn family.

Furthermore I would like to know if Jim McAllister and this committee are going to do anything to address ongoing attacks against a Cullyhanna family wrongly connected to the tragic murder by Lord Laird (Jim admitted Laird got it wrong).

I would also like to know if they have any plans to champion the cause of justice for Vol. Keith Rodgers who was murdered by criminal elements. I am going to hedge my bets and say that these two issues will be side stepped by Jim and the committee as it is not in the interests of an anti-republican agenda to address them.


No South Armagh unity on Sunday

I am of course talking about this Sunday's Ulster Club Championship final between Antrim side St Gall's and South Armagh side Crossmaglen.

I have tried to wish Cross all the best but it's just not possible for a number of reasons. The arrogance of many a Cross supporter has simply made it impossible for me to support them.

Added to the mix the fact that Kevin McGourty, St Gall's star man, is a close friend of mine and the fact that I am a Dromintee man might go someway to explain why I am reluctant to support Cross.

This will be the first time that I have not supported the Armagh side in the club championship however needs must. Now had Cross being facing Down side Mayobridge that would have been different, the enemy county is still the main rival afterall.

St Gall's were very unlucky not to have won the All-Ireland two years ago, I hope they can do it this year.

Best of luck to Kevin and the lads against the forces of evil!

Time to wake up and smell the coffee

I see that that Unionist's are none too happy about the recently formed Oireachtas committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Their displeasure is down to the fact that it will contain Northern representation.

The DUP's East Derry MP Gregory Campbell has said that the establishment of the committee demonstrates an extraordinary level of arrogance on the part of the Irish Government.

This utterance by Gregory comes after the leader of Seanad Eireann, Fianna Fáil's Donnie Cassidy proposed that there be permanent Northern Representation in the Seanad.

Now I understand that many people have issues with the Seanad, myself included, however this can only be another positive step.

The all-party Oireachtas committee on the Constitution has already made clear the need for more Northern Representation in the Dáil and the Oireachtas in general.

Prodiban protagonists like Gregory may find that uncomfortable however this is the road in which we are headed.

It's only going to get worse for people like Gregory, All-Ireland cooperation and integration is the way forward and it is the de facto policy of both governments.

It's about time that Unionist's started to accept this obvious reality.


I was delighted to see that case against our Newry and Mourne councillors has been settled out of court.

This relates to a case brought by Willie Frazer and his desire for bullet proof glass in a hall where the community association had threatened to resign on mass if he was admitted.

Willie and those who use him in the UUP had tried to see our Councillors disbarred because of this decision.

The case has been settled out of court with the Local Government Auditor. The surcharge certificate has now been set aside with the Sinn Féin and SDLP councillors agreeing to pay the legal costs of the case.

I have said all along that these councillors would not be disbarred, it would have been an injustice for them to be disbarred.

Sinn Féin councillor Jimmy McCreesh said that they had been vindicated by this result.

"The judge's comments that the agreement reached was sensible and pragmatic clearly indicate his understanding of the issues involved. It is a matter of record that the cross-community management committee of the centre in Newtownhamilton totally opposed this application which initially involved a request for bullet-proof windows to be provided.

We as elected representatives were duly obliged to balance the rights of Mr Frazer and FAIR with the rights of the community."

Now I am sure poor Willie and Danny Kennedy are upset that our councillors are still in place however the people of South Armagh and indeed Newry and Mourne as a whole will be relieved that their councillors are still in place.

Hard luck Willie, better luck next time!


Engerland are out!

I was away at a law fair yesterday with a friend and didn't return home until after nine last night. On the way up the road I heard the man on the news say that England were 2-0 down.

My heart began to flutter, how are Russia doing? Then I heard the news that every Irishman was waiting for, Russia were 1-0 up.

By the time I finally got home there was only 10 minutes left and England were trailing 3-2.

By the time I had changed out of the suit and poured a large Whiskey it was the dying minutes and England were all but out. Then the final whistle came and I received my early Birthday present.

England were out of Euro 2008, I was beside myself with joy.

I remember watching the England-Holland match earlier this year while I was living in London. We were in a Lloyds bar in the centre of London and I was the only voice to be heard when Holland scored.

One of the lads asked me why "you Irish and Scots never support England, even though we support you whenever you are playing. Like what have the English ever done on you?"

Resisting the urge for one of my political rants I simply informed my English mate that I followed the Tommy Tiernan rule of thumb regarding the old enemy.

"I don't hate them, obviously I love to see them defeated in stuff like football and war"

I'd say there was many an Irish, Scottish and Welsh smile today. The old enemy is out and it's going to be fun watching the media and the fans explode.


They followed where Mc Verry led the way.

The title of this blog is taken from the popular republican ballad 'The Two Brendan's', but while many sing it they may not fully comprehend the significance of this simple statement.

Just what was it about Oglach Micheal Mc Verry, OC South Armagh Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann, that made him stand out above all others?

What made him a shining light in the struggle for freedom?

How could one unassuming young man from Cullyhanna change the nature of guerrilla warfare in South Armagh and inspire generations of freedom fighters to pursue the goal of our struggle which ultimately resulted in the defeat of enemy forces of occupation in South Armagh

In case you are wondering why I took a sudden urge to post this blog, it was Micheal's anniversary at the weekend. Micheal Mc Verry became involved in the freedom struggle following the murder of Tullydonnell man Harry Thornton in West Belfast.

There was riots in Crossmaglen the night of Harry's murder and Mc Verry, only 21 at this stage, led a group of young men who almost captured Crossmaglen Barracks with only their bare hands and nail bombs.

Mc Verry's reputation would grow from the ruthlessness and efficiency with which he directed the army's war effort in South Armagh. Indeed he is the mastermind credited with driving British forces off the roads in South Armagh and into the sky.

He was also a pioneer in the use of mortars to further the army's war effort, and indeed even the loss of a hand when preparing a mortar could not deter him from leading 'Mc Verry's Men' into battle.

Indeed not even prison could quell the recalcitrance of Mc Very, with him escaping from the Curragh in the early 1970's. Indeed he commanded an area that stretched from the outskirts of Armagh City and Keady, through to Belleek and Cullyhanna right down to the verges of Newry. This is placed in context by the fact that he was barely in his mid-twenties during the zenith of his campaign.

A comrade of Micheal's explained the mentality of Micheal when on active service and how he demonstrated not only a commitment and dedication rare for one so young, but also an overwhelming sense of guerrilla warfare and the realisation that the real battle would take place at the talks tables with the Brits.

The comrade related of how when going out on active service for the army with Micheal if you got to the ambush scene and the Brits were not there "you went looking for them and hunted them down. There was no sitting about waiting for them."

He also described one time when during a successful engagement with enemy forces the ASU were retreating to safety when half way up the road they decided it was not they who needed to retreat but the Brits so Mc Verry gave the order to return and re-engage the Brits once more.

Mc Verry lost his life in a failed military engagement at Keady barracks on 15th November 1973. The ASU had planned to carry out a rocket attack on Keady Barracks but fatally the RPG turned up late and a gun battle began between the freedom fighters and enemy forces. Mc Verry was hit in the stomach in what turned out to be a fatal wound.

Mc Verry was the first volunteer the South Armagh Brigade lost during this phase of the conflict and is perhaps apt that it was their most precious volunteer who would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Such was the calibre of Mc Verry that he would never expect a volunteer to do anything he himself was not prepared to do.

He died at the tender age of 23, yet he had already drove the Brits into the sky, with the RUC estimating that Mc Verry was involved in the killings of at least 26 enemy forces personnel.

In his short life Mc Verry was to lay the foundation stones that would ultimately see the freedom fighters of the South Armagh Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann triumph over the foreign forces of occupation.


RUC: Collusion, Bigotry and Murder

I see that the motley crew of sectarian bigots and murderers that make up Retired RUC officers have come together in order to tell the story of that forces 80 year history.

I have serious doubts that we will get anything other than a stomach churning dose of bullshit from these people.

The RUC came into force after the minority community on this island used their illegitimate influence to partition this country.

That partition created the bastardised 6 counties, a statelet forged out of sectarian bigotry and the desire to dominate their fellow Irishmen.

In essence " A Protestant country for a Protestant people"

In May 1922 Stormont passed the 1922 Constabulary Act and the RUC officially came into existence on 1 June 1922.

The hatred which the Nationalist people felt for the RUC and their Protestant Militia, the B Specials, is well documented.

The history of the RUC is a history of sectarianism, discrimination, hate, collusion and murder. They only ever served one section of the people and their raison d'etre was to uphold the illegitimate partition of this country.

When you have stoops like Seamus Mallon describing the RUC as "97% Protestant and 100% unionist." you get a feeling for the dept of hatred felt towards the RUC.

Indeed even those few Castle Catholic who decided to join this sectarian force received discrimination.

In December 1997 The Independent newspaper published a leaked internal RUC document which reported that a third of all Catholic RUC officers had suffered religious discrimination and/or harassment from Protestant fellow officers.

Then we move on to the issue of collusion and state sanctioned murder.

On 18 April 2003 as part of the third report into collusion between Unionist death squads, RUC, and British Army, John Stevens published an Overview and Recommendations document. In it contained the following.

"My Enquiries have highlighted collusion, the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, and the extreme of agents being involved in murder. These serious acts and omissions have meant that people have been killed or seriously injured."

In February 1994, Amnesty International published a report which stated there was "mounting evidence" of collusion between the security forces and Unionist death squads.

In fact last year an international panel of legal experts examined 76 killings between 1972 and 1977 and said there was evidence of collusion in all but two of the cases.

So out of the 76 cases they examined 74 of those cases contained evidence of collusion between the RUC and their Unionist death squads.

That's just a 5 year period of a 30 year conflict which was examined. How many cases of collusion would we find if they were all examined?

I had a wry smile when I read that the RUC website claimed

“The Royal Ulster Constabulary served all the people of Northern Ireland with valour and gallantry from 1922 up until 2001”

Yeah right!


John Laird: A coward and a liar!

I was disgusted by John Laird's abuse of Parliamentary Privilege today when he shamefully named men from behind the shroud of this outdated and elitist protection.

If Laird believed that he could stand over what he said then why didn't he say it in public where these men would have recourse under the law of torts?

It's a disgrace that this archaic piece of British parliamentary procedure is still allowed to be used and abused by people like Laird.

I don't believe a word of what Laird spouted today but I do feel for the men to have had their names and character attacked in such a fashion.

What is evident though from Laird's speech is that he has been "contacted by a number of people and groups from the area who would not normally consider me as a friend".

Now, you don't have to be a genius to work out who these people and groups from the area are. The same criminal element that are trying to ferment discord through lies are the same people who are responsible for this speech by Laird.

It is very clear that Laird's only sources of information are these criminal elements.

Anyone who tries a similar action to Laird's on Balrog will have their post deleted and their IP banned.

This action today was not only an attack upon the men involved but it was also an attack upon the presumption of innocence, a presumption that lies at the heart of any democracy.


Pádraig Pearse

I was reading some of the works of P.H Pearse and decided that a blog on him may be interesting. Out of all the leaders of the 1916 Rising he is the one that I feel history has been the cruellest towards.

I have heard it said they he was a mad man who wallowed in blood sacrifice, a paedophile that lusted after young boys and an egotist.

None of these things are true and when you examine his vast array of writings you will find a patriot, a gifted writer, a poet and a man who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that this country may be free.

His reputation has been tarnished and suppressed because his actions don't sit well with many partitionist Fianna Fáilers.

They tried to invent a democratic mandate for the Easter Rising when no such mandate existed and can't exist. It can't exist because when revolution becomes inevitable it is a consequence of democracy failing.

This can be evidenced by the Home Rule crisis and the unjust influence that a minority held on this island.

When we look at Pearse we must be careful not to look through 21st century eyes, he was after all a man of the early 20th century.

His now famous "Murder Machine" is an excellent example of a polemic criticising the British system of education in Ireland up to 1916. Of Modernism he had this to say, "the prospect of the children of Sandy Row being taught to curse the Pope in Irish was rich and soul-satisfying"

It needs to be remembered that this man was a poet and a writer, his use of allegory and brash instruments may be lost on those who take quotes of his writing at face value.

Take the following extract from his piece "The Coming Revolution"

"I am glad, then, that the North has begun. I am glad that the Orangemen have armed, for it is a goodly thing to see arms in Irish hands. I should like to see the A. O. H. armed. I should like to see the Transport Workers armed. I should like to see any and every body of Irish citizens armed. We must accustom ourselves to the thought of arms, to the sight of arms, to the use of arms. We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying thing, and the nation which regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood. There are many things more horrible than bloodshed; and slavery is one of them. "

What he is saying here is that, yes bloodshed and killing are terrible but that they are a price that must be paid for freedom and that there are worse things that that, slavery, injustice and occupation.

One of the quotes of Pearse that is most abused is the following quote from "Peace and the Gael"

"The old heart of the earth needed to be warmed with the red wine of the battlefields."

If you read this quote in isolation you would think that he is a bloodthirsty nut job who relished in death. If you take the time to follow the link and read the entire extract you will find that such was not the case.

When then reach the nub of the lies relating to Pearse, the suggestion that he was a Paedophile. In 1909 he published his now famous poem "A Mhic Bhig na gCleas" although many may know it as "Little Lad of the Tricks".

It must be remembered that "little lad of the tricks" was a translation of "A Mhic Bhig na gCleas". It was first published As Gaelige and was well received, it was only when it was translated into English that questions were raised.

His co-signers of the Proclamation, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Mary Plunkett, expressed their concerns about how this poem could be construed in English to Pearse. He was hurt at the mere suggestion that it was a paedophile poem.

When this poem is viewed in the Irish language it is fine, it's only when it's read in English that a problem occurs. It has to be acknowledged that English is one of the worst languages to translate anything into, it lacks tenses and can form crude and even opposite meanings of the original language.

It is for that reason why I have such contempt for the attitude of Evangelical Protestants who follow the words of the English bible as if they were sacrosanct. It is only a translation and a lot of the original meanings have been lost in the translation.

It is accepted though that Pearse could be a difficult man to follow, Michael Collins once wrote

"Of Pearse and Connolly I admire the latter most. Connolly was a realist, Pearse the direct opposite . . . I would have followed [Connolly] through hell had such action been necessary. But I honestly doubt very much if I would have followed Pearse — not without some thought anyway"

I have the utmost respect for P.H. Pearse, he ignited the fire of a nation and while the Rising was a failure militarily it was also a success because what it intended to happen did indeed occur.

Pearse is a man that history and poor academics have slandered for too long


BBBerties double standards

I really had to laugh when I read on RTÉ that an Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has called for wage restraint in the next round of talks on a National Wage Agreement.

Ahern said wage increases under the current agreement Towards 2016 had cost the Government €1.7bn.

This is despite the fact that Ahern has just approved himself a 14% or €38,000 wage increase. This will bring his salary up to €310,000 and make him one of the best paid leaders in the world.

This call for economic prudence in the face of an economic downturn from Ahern whilst he feathers his own nest is reminiscent of the worst era of Haughism.

Charlie called on people to watch what they spent and to tighten their belts yet he spent thousands on £750 Charvet shirts and dinners at Le Coq Hardi.

That's what happens when you have Fianna Fáil in power, it's one rule for them and other for the rest of us mere mortals!

Sinn Féin Chairman for Newry and Mourne DPP

I see that Newry Sinn Féin Councillor Brendan Curran has taken up the Chairmanship of Newry and Mourne District Policing Partnership.

As an ex-prisoner and Volunteer of Oglaigh Na hÉireann Brendan's republican bona fides are without question.

This is an important step as the area he will be seeking to represent, Newry and South Armagh, has seen some of the worst abuses of the old RUC.

Brendan will be joined on the local DPP by fellow Sinn Féin Councillors Turlough Murphy, Michael Ruane and Colman Burns.

Brendan said that we are not on the DPP's in order to prop up poor policing.

"The Sinn Féin members on the Newry and Mourne Policing Partnerships will provide the voice for communities who have in the past experienced only bad policing. We want to play a constructive role on those Partnerships but we will not shy away from challenging, or criticising, or questioning policing decisions and policy when the need arises."

"Sinn Féin will not be sitting on the DPPs to prop up ineffective policing. That, in the view of many, is these Partnerships have done in the past. Those days are over, we are determined that Policing with the community will be the core function of the Policing Service."

"For their part the PSNI must indicate a willingness to embrace this opportunity to deliver policing which is democratic, accountable, representative and free from political control."

"Sinn Féin will use their membership of the Partnerships to critically engage with the PSNI in a professional, efficient and constructive manner. We are taking up positions on these Partnerships is clearly significant. There are big challenges for us as we seek to deliver the mandate we have been given. But as with our approach to any issue we will be resolute and we will be determined."

I have complete confidence in Brendan and the other Sinn Féin Councillors who have taken up membership of the DPP. I expect that the cups of tea and biscuit meetings that the cops are used to having with the stoops will come to an end.

This will be a proper, effective and if needs be critical engagement with the cops.

It's time for them to rise to the challenge and do the job they are paid to do!

Edentubber Martyrs

This Sunday marks the 50th Anniversary of the Edentubber Martyrs. This will be the time when Republicans from across Ireland come to remember the sacrifice of five brave men, men who in our history of struggle paid the ultimate price in the pursuit of unity and freedom.

On the 11 November 1957 five republicans were killed in an explosion which demolished a small cottage at the foot of Edentubber Mountain in County Louth, some 300 yards from the South Armagh border.

The five men were Vol. Paul Smith from South Armagh, Vol. George Keegan from Wexford, Vol. Paddy Parle also from Wexford, Vol. Oliver Craven from Newry and Michael Watters from Edentubber.

This five men were involved in Operation Harvest, the IRA's border campaign that lasted from 1956 to 1962.

The Edentubber Commemoration Committee have now launched the Edentubber Martyrs Fiftieth Anniversary Website, it can be viewed under my "Irish Republican" links.

This year promises to be the biggest commemoration yet with an exhibition, a DVD launch, dress up in period battle gear and other aspects of street theatre.

The Balrog team will be there on Sunday so blogging on Monday may have to take a backseat.

These men paid the ultimate price in the hope that this country may be free and united. We meet on Sunday to honour their sacrifice and to reassert our determination that their deaths were not in vain.

Abject tears, and prayers submissive -
Have they eyes, and cannot see?
Never a country gained her freedom
when she sued on bended knee.

- Jane Francesca Elgee


Rome condems English Queen, again

I see that a Vatican supported historian has attacked the new film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, as a “distorted anti-papal travesty” and claimed that it risks dividing the West just when it should be rediscovering its “common Christian roots” in the face of Islam.

Professor Franco Cardini penned this opinion in Avvenire, the official organ of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and said that the film formed part of a “concerted attack on Catholicism” by atheists and “apocalyptic Christians”.

Professor Cardini said “a film which so profoundly and perversely falsifies history cannot be judged a good film”. It had potentially offered “a contribution to the understanding of a moment of vital importance.”

Instead, the Virgin Queen was portrayed as “an able politician and courageous sovereign” while King Philip II of Spain was shown as a “ferocious, fanatical Catholic, swinging his rosary like a weapon and roaming the Escorial Palace like a madman, full of impotent fury, dreaming of subjugating the world to the Catholic faith”.

The defeat of Spain’s “invincible armada” in 1588 was caused by a storm but was presented in the film as a “shining victory for free thought against the forces of darkness in the form of the Inquisition”, Professor Cardini said.

Professor Cardini should remember that history is written by those who have hanged heroes, I'd never worry too much about what historians in England have to say. I'm sure they are still a little bitter after the Papal Bull of 1570 declared their frigid monarch a servant of crime and a heretic.

I wonder does the film look at what Lizzie the first did in Ireland? We had the Battle of Clontibert in 1595 and the Battle of Yellow Ford in 1598. We had that mad bastard Baron Mountjoy as Lord Deputy in 1600.We had the famous Battle of Kinsale in 1601, any mention?

Let's not forget that the Nine Years War in Ireland came very close to bankrupting the English exchequer, it cost them over £2 million.

Does this "Golden Age" tell the viewer that 60,000 people had died in the Ulster famine of 1602–3 alone as a result of English imperialist expansion?

It's a pity we don't have any modern versions of "Regnans In Excelsis", no one would follow them but they would be amusing to say the least.

What does interest me about this review however is the subtle hint of anti-Muslim sentiment from Cardini. He speaks about the need to form a Christian collective and stand up to Islam, I disagree.

What the Church should be doing is standing up to the West and their ever expanding brand of Militant Capitalism, a philosophy that is fanning the flames of hatred in the Muslim world.

On a personal level I am a Catholic first, I wish to stand with other Christians as much as I wish to stand with Jews or Muslims. I don't see this conflict as a fight between religions, I will never view it as such.


New Order

I would have posted this at the weekend but my computer was on the blink. From this moment on any poster who continues to pollute Balrog threads with nonsense about David Vance or ATW will have their comments deleted.

Unless the thread is about either David Vance or ATW personally this policy will be enforced with an iron fist.

I am very annoyed that certain posters have forced me into this position, however I would rather turn off comments and close down Balrog than to have it polluted with this king of puerile and childish nonsense.

I have asked that posters refrain from this kind of bullshit before however several have refused to listen.

I understand that David Vance has banned several posters and they have no access to a site that they can bitch on, the fact that they feel the need to bitch so much shows that one or two are obsessed. It's getting very close to a Glenn Close moment for several of them.

That being said if anyone feels that bad about either David Vance or ATW then I suggest you set up your own blog, I don't like Balrog being used for electronic diarrhoea.

If anyone feels that this is harsh, an attempt at censorship etc I have just one thing to say.... I DON'T GIVE A FUCK!!

This is my blog and I don't post up new threads just to see them turn into anti-ATW threads.

If anyone feels they will be unable to comply with this new order then the door is that way!

Martin Meehan RIP

I was saddened to learn that Republican stalwart and IRA veteran Martin Meehan died over the weekend.

Martin was born in 1940's Belfast, his father was imprisoned for Republican activities and his grandfather was killed at the Battle of the Somme. He joined Oglaigh Na hÉireann in 1966 and described it as a "big occasion, like joining the priesthood".

In 1971 Martin escaped from prison and crossed the border and in 1972 he and others were involved in a four hour cross border gun battle with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. That battle took place at land which was owned by my family at Dungooley in Co Louth, just across the border.

In fact that land is now owned by West Brit Edward Haughey, I remember before the land was sold I was walking across one of the fields and there was loads of empty shells all over the place.

In 1972 Martin Meehan was the first Republican to be charged with membership of the PIRA and in 1975 was the last Republican to be released following the abolishment of internment.

Martin was a lifelong Republican who witnessed first hand the cruelty and injustice of what the British had to offer Ireland.

I think I was about 11 when I first met Martin Meehan in Jonesborough market, my Dad had known him for some time and he introduced me. Even then you could see that this man had a presence and a demeanour that received respect.

Martin was well liked and respected by Republicans the length and breathe of Ireland.

Gerry Adams described Martin as an exemplary republican and said he would mourned by all who knew him

“It was with deep shock and sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Martin Meehan. I want extend my sincere condolences and those of republicans everywhere to Briege and the entire Meehan family".

“Martin Meehan was a lifelong republican who dedicated his life to the struggle for Irish freedom. Martin served the republican struggle as a dedicated IRA Volunteer, political activist and elected representative. Martin and his family paid a heavy price for his republicanism having been interned without trial, served long prison sentences and long periods away from his family because of his activism"

Junior Minister Gerry Kelly commenting on the sad news said

“Republicans everywhere will be saddened by this shocking news. Martin was a republican legend, particularly in Belfast. He will be sadly missed by all of his comrades in Belfast and beyond .On their behalf I extend heartfelt condolences to Briege and the Meehan family"

Many people are what the times demand and when physical force Republicanism was demanded Martin was not found wanting. When politics became the order of the day he didn't shirk his responsibility, he put his head up and was counted.

He lived and died an Irish Republican

I measc Laochra na Gael go raibh sé