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Old 01-02-2018, 08:32 PM   #501
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"Bobby Sands died for nothing as far as I am concerned"

Hardly that. Sands and the other hunger strikers were the turning point in the troubles. first they utterly destroyed Maggie Thatcher's claim the IRA were common criminals. common criminals don't give their lives for their beliefs. I've seen "common criminals" attempt hunger strikes any number of times, they typically last until the warden puts pizza back on the menu.

The hunger strikes is what put Sinn Fein on the map, Sands was elected to parliament as he lay dying in the maze. What infuriated Thatcher is there was no way she could spin the hungers strikes. It was a test of will between ten young Irishmen lying starved
and naked in a filthy cell and the leader of a world power, looking very well fed and comfortable. Not surprisingly the world took a dim view of thatcher's policies.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:29 PM   #502
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You're over playing the impact of the Maze hunger strikers on the world stage. Their claim was that they were prisoners of war and should be treated differently from ordinary prisoners.

In the United Kingdom, terrorists still get sent to prison. Some get nutted off to the home for the bewildered, but that is by the by.

In Iraq I believe they hang terrorists like common criminals.

Bobby Sands died in 1981. Margaret Thatcher remained priminister until 1990, when the Conservative party ousted her in a row about the then EC. The key though, whatever small gains Sinn Fein may have made from Sands death, is that it wasn't how Thatcher viewed the IRA, it is how the law treats terrorists, as common criminals.

This is very important, and some thing you have to acknowledge regardless of your views on the state of things in Ireland. In most countries as far as I am aware, the law allows us to prosecute terrorists as criminals, and this is very important. If they aren't killed in the process of capturing them, they are tried and convicted in the same way as you or I may be if we robbed a bank. Why? Because to do otherwise lends a prestige and legitimacy to the cause of terrorism that it does not deserve.

The United Kingdom was not at war in Northern Ireland. The provisional were a criminal insurgency, that terrorised its own community and spread economic decay in the areas it claimed to be defending, as much as it waged a campaign against the UK government. Nobody, no government was ever going to give Sands and the IRA any form of legitimacy, because that would be a dangerous precedent. So Sands died for nothing. He didn't even put the IRA in the headlines, because they were already there.

Most people, quite rightly, view terrorists as extremists, they belong in prison, in asylums, or in the ground. I'm reminded of Ian Brady, who ended his days being force fed because he was deemed mentally incompetent to make the decision to not eat.

I'm not even going to attempt an ounce of compassion for Bobby Sands, he wasn't some poor hard done by victim of society. He was convicted twice for firearms offences. I doubt if he was planning to hold up the local corner shop to get nappies for the kids either. His second conviction followed the bombing of a furniture store and a shoot out with the RUC. Sands and his protest mob wanted special treatment. They seemed to think that their motives for criminality set them apart from "normal" people. They didn't want to work, and they didn't want to wear prison uniforms. The also believed they deserved a different legal status to the rest of us.

Well, he got his special treatment alright! Bread and water every three days, and all his furniture taken out of his cell. Serves him fucking well right if you ask me!
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:58 AM   #503
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Just been reading a review of the economic year for Ulster on the BBC News website. I missed that the government have set local taxes and business rates, and imposed a budget to keep public services functioning towards the end of last year. Though we knew it was coming.

However, the 1bn promised as part of the deal between the Conservative and Unionist Party (to give it its full name), and the DUP, has largely been held back. Obviously this is new money, and with Stormont not functioning, there is nobody to decide how to spend it.

Also on hold are plans to grant Stormont powers to set its own corporation tax rates.

With power sharing in a state of collapse, the process of further devolution of powers from Westminster to Ulster has collapsed with it.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:33 PM   #504
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Well after one of the London Bridge attackers from last year was found to have had links to Ireland, it looks like IZAL may have finally landed in the Emerald Isle. In Dundalk this morning police have arrested an Egyptian asylum seeker following the fatal stabbing of a Japanese man, and further stabbings of two Irish men. Police are investigating if the stabbings are linked and terror related.

The European Union, which the Irish seem so keen to support, have a policy of allocating quotas of refugees to member states. A policy that many Eastern European member states are trying to resist.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:23 AM   #505
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The BBC News website Northern Ireland page is a fascinating place:

"A 29-year-old man has appeared in court charged in connection with the display of two offensive posters in the window of a republican support group's office in Londonderry.

The posters appeared at the office of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association in Chamberlain Street.

Patrick Joseph Barr from Sackville Court denies the charges.

One of the posters included the message: "Wishing you an Explosive Christmas."

Londonderry magistrates' court heard that another display was a graphic picture of a nude man holding a gun with literature that referred to a police officer that had died.




Barr is accused of permitting the display of offensive posters with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

He was released on bail until 2 February."

The window display also featured a snowman holding an RPG launcher.

Meanwhile, the story from Dundalk yesterday has been updated, the second Irishman attacked was actually hit with a fence post. The suspect was found to have the post on him when police came to arrest him.

Police are also investigating how the man was able to arrive in Ireland. EU law, under the Dublin Agreement, requires that asylum seekers are processed at the point of entry in to the EU.

Ireland, like the UK, is not part of the Schengen area that allows people to move around without border checks, so it is possible that the man either came direct to Ireland from Egypt on a visa, before claiming asylum. Or he sneaked in to the UK from France, and then crossed to the Republic under our own customs waiver arrangement.

I also found a report of a man being shot in the leg in Londonderry just before Christmas in what police and the local SDLP MP described as a paramilitary type attack. The shooting happened on the street in the Aileach Road area of the city. Aileach Road lies on the western side of the River Foyle.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:26 PM   #506
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Well after one of the London Bridge attackers from last year was found to have had links to Ireland, it looks like IZAL may have finally landed in the Emerald Isle. In Dundalk this morning police have arrested an Egyptian asylum seeker following the fatal stabbing of a Japanese man, and further stabbings of two Irish men. Police are investigating if the stabbings are linked and terror related..
The news here are reporting that he is a nut case with mental issues rather than an ISIS fucker. Either way, I don't think the Irish will like the hand of friendliness being thrown back in their faces.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:29 PM   #507
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You're over playing the impact of the Maze hunger strikers on the world stage. Their claim was that they were prisoners of war and should be treated differently from ordinary prisoners.
Political prisoners status is what I recall they wanted. I do remember that Margaret Thatcher was regarded as scum in the USA during that summer when the hunger strikers were popping off one by one. She didn't gain anything positive from it at all that I was aware of.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:48 PM   #508
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Ah, well, Margaret Thatcher wasn't elected by US tax payers was she? US tax payers didn't have to think about their pubs getting bombed, or whether their kids were going to get kneecapped. So fuck what ever they thought!
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:05 AM   #509
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Latest reports are that police are trying to ascertain his true nationality. He was initially thought to be Egyptian, and came in to contact with police over his immigration status on 1/1/2018.

The BBC are now playing down terrorist links, but make no mention of any mental health issues.

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The news here are reporting that he is a nut case with mental issues rather than an ISIS fucker. Either way, I don't think the Irish will like the hand of friendliness being thrown back in their faces.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:29 AM   #510
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Latest reports are that police are trying to ascertain his true nationality. He was initially thought to be Egyptian, and came in to contact with police over his immigration status on 1/1/2018..
Probably got in a fit when he wasn't assured Irish citizenship, and wanted to lash out at anyone and everyone as is the Muslim way.

I found this pic of him on an "IrishMirror" newspaper site:

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Old 01-05-2018, 09:08 AM   #511
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People do occasionally get murdered in Ireland without a Jihadi or Republican connection.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:37 PM   #512
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I’m not aware of any Jihadi murders in Ireland until now, but recent history suggests a nutcase called Mohammed stabbing random strangers in the street is working for IZAL. Especially if they are an asylum seeker and “known to security services”.

You all my recall sectarianism rearing its ugly head in Glasgow a couple of Christmases ago? Some nutter drove all the way there from Bradford to stab a shop keeper for being “the wrong type of Muslim” and wishing his customers a happy Christmas.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:54 PM   #513
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No mention of him swinging the post at the knee caps, which tends to rule out a Republican connection
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:00 PM   #514
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He hasn’t got much of a beard either, but then neither did Jimmy Savile.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:56 PM   #515
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a sampling of world reaction to Bobby Sands death:

The Global Reaction

Europe

In Rome, the President of the Italian Senate did what the Brit Speaker couldn't bring himself to do by expressing the Italian government's sympathies to the Sands' family.

In Milan, 5,000 students burned the Union Flag and shouted "Freedom for Ulster" during a march.

In Ghent, students invaded the British Consulate.

In Paris, thousands marched behind huge portraits of Sands, to chants of 'The IRA will conquer'.

In France, many towns and cities have streets named after Sands. Examples include Nantes, St Etienne, Le Mans Vierzon and St Denis.

In Oslo, demonstrators threw a balloon filled with tomato sauce at Elizabeth Windsor, Head of the British Crown Forces.

In Spain, the Ya newspaper said Bobby's death was "an act of heroism."

In Poland's Lech Walesa paid tribute, "Bobby Sands was a great man who sacrificed his life for his struggle."

Soviet Union

Pravda described it as 'another tragic page in the grim chronicle of oppression, discrimination, terror and violence' in Ireland.

In Liverpool a march in support of Sands took place from Upper Parliament Street to the Pier Head, chanting "Bobby Sands MP".

USA

The US Congress and state and local governments passed resolutions honouring Bobby's sacrifice and sent letters of condolence. The New Jersey state legislature noted his "courage and convictions”

The International Longshoremen's Association in New York announced a twenty-four-hour boycott of British ships.

Over 1,000 people gathered in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral to hear Cardinal Terence Cooke offer a Mass of reconciliation for Northern Ireland. Irish bars in the city were closed for two hours in mourning.

In Hartford, Connecticut a memorial was dedicated to Bobby Sands and the other Hunger Strikers in 1997, Set up by the Irish Northern Aid Committee and local Irish-Americans, it stands in a traffic circle known as "Bobby Sands Circle," at the bottom of Maple Avenue near Goodwin Park.

Cuba


In 2001, a memorial to Sands and the other hunger strikers was unveiled in Havana,

Africa

The ANC not only sent representatives to the funeral but Nelson Mandela sent a personal message from his prison cell.

Asia


In Tehran, Iran, President Bani-Sadr sent a message of condolence to the Sands family and also sent a representative to the funeral. An official blue and white street sign was affixed to the rear wall of the British embassy compound saying (in Persian) "Bobby Sands Street" with three words of explanation "militant Irish guerrilla".

The official Pars news agency called Bobby Sands' death "heroic".

The Hindustan Times said Margaret Thatcher had allowed a fellow Member of Parliament to die of starvation, an incident which had never before occurred "in a civilised country."

In the Indian Parliament, opposition members in the upper house Rajya Sabha stood for a minute's silence in tribute.

The Hong Kong Standard said it was 'sad that successive British governments have failed to end the last of Europe's religious wars.'

A large monument dedicated to Irish protagonists for independence from Britain, including Bobby Sands, stands in the Waverly Cemetery in Sydney, Australia.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:24 PM   #516
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Apart from the reaction around the world, over 100,000 people turned out for Sands funeral. Prior to the hunger strikes. Sinn Fein was insignificant politically. They were really nothing more than a mouthpiece for the IRA. This was the start of Sinn Fein rise to prominence, on both sides of the border.

The hunger strikers had no real hope that the Thatcher government would make any concessions. Their purpose was to prove they could not be cowed. That they would die rather than bend the knee is what brought hundreds of thousands into the streets .

"They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn't want to be broken"
Bobby Sands

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Old 01-06-2018, 04:47 AM   #517
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There have been bigger funerals, it took eight days for mourners to file past Stalin.

Further to the reasons already mentioned why the British government and British law would not concede to the demands of a small group of criminals, would giving concessions have been described as in any way compassionate? Of course not. Humiliating defeat, and dealing with terrorists is what springs to mind.

It would also open the floodgate for demands from every politically motivated nutjob in the prison system. Oh, and probably plenty of prisoners suddenly discovering their political conscience!

Some of the reactions you describe to Sands death, those people have some credibility, Lech Walesa for example, who was also a friend and ally of Margaret Thatcher, and the US political institutions.

Students? Hah! If students in Europe weren’t protesting and burning flags in the 1980s, it was probably raining. Sands will have been forgotten inna few weeks, and they would have been back to burning the good old star spangled banner in protest at the US being there to protect them from the red menace!

Iran, Russia, Cuba? See above.

Of course, you could point out the lack of demonstrations in support of the government for not giving way to Sands. Ordinary, dignified people weren’t going to turn out like a bunch of Munchkins to celebrate his death were they?

Funnily enough, that is exactly what happened when Margaret Thatcher died. Amongst the many thousands of admirers was a tiny campaign to get that song to number 1 in the charts.

Sinn Fein. They have hit a brick wall really haven’t they? Their two biggest guns retired, one dead. They have progressed from their position on attending Westminster at a time when their presence there could be felt more strongly than ever. Then that is typical Sinn Fein/IRA isn’t it? They don’t really want freedom for the Irish people, they want Sinn Fein for the Irish people. They would fit in well in Westminster! Then there is Stormont, they can’t exactly put dual language road signs and gay marriage on the agenda from outside the building can they?

There is a risk that people who voted for Sinn Fein realise their voices aren’t getting represented. There are alternatives. Some may not like that all that extra money gives the DUP a controlling stake in government, but in one of the most impoverished regions in the Union, I’m sure there are plenty of Catholics that would like a say in how that money gets spent.

There was a time you could count Sinn Fein amongst the few truly radical parties in Britain, not any more. They are just aping the SNP and Labour. Their pro-EU, anti-austerity, pro-cultural Marxism posturing may win them admiration amongst chattering Corbynistas, but they all live in Islington and Highgate, and West Hampstead. Heard of those places? No of course not, because Sinn Fein doesn’t stand for election there.

Bobby Sands, local hero. Quite possibly thanks to Sinn Fein, historical nobody.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:06 AM   #518
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“The Hong Kong Standard said it was 'sad that successive British governments have failed to end the last of Europe's religious wars.'”

That is an interesting passage. At the time European Jews and Druze militias were fighting a proxy war in the Levant. I suppose it would have been unlikely to predict the Balkans conflicts at the time, or the fact that there has been a state of emergency in France for two years now. Then there was the attempts by Russia to lure Orthodox Greece away from the EU over imposition of a management commitee in exchange for a financial bailout.

The prospect of sectarian conflict still boils away, and “Europe” is a very fluid term. Nothing to do with Ulster of course, but the writer who wrote that line should probably have spent less time in Hong Kong.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:08 AM   #519
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And yet, despite your claim of Sinn Fein hitting a wall, they continue to win elections. Went from 4 seats to 7 in the last election in the north. In the south they have replaced Labour as the third largest party, 23 seats in the Dail to Labour's 7. And some very nervous people at Fine Gael and Fianna Fail as Sinn Fein continues to grow.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:44 AM   #520
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Seven seats that they refuse to represent. A half of a devolved assembly that they refuse to represent. They are handing the reins back to Westminster. Is that what their supporters voted for?
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