Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unionists and the Irish Language

This week, the official website of the DUP and the personal websites of party leader Peter Robinson and Lagan Valley MP Jeffery Donaldson were the victim of an amusing pranks by self professed Irish language 'hactivist' 'Hector O'Hackedatdawn'. The prankster ran a fake story on the DUP website as Gaeilge titled “Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir”, or ‘Happy new year to you all’ which purported to claim that the party was embracing the Irish language. He also displayed Irish language messages on the sites of Peter Robinson ("Is mise Peadar Robinson, agus tugaim tacoíocht den Acht na Gaeilge" or 'I am Peter Robinson and I support the Irish Language Act') and Jeffery Donaldson.

The prankster claims his motive was to draw attention to the "nonsensical attiude" of the DUP towards the Irish language.

If this gag does nothing else (beside give thousands of people a giggle) it will highlight the bigotry of the DUP towards the Irish language or anything remotely Irish or of Irish culture for that matter.

Earlier this week, minister for the Dept of Regional Development proposed the introduction of bilingual traffic signs in both Irish and Ulster-Scots. Now to most people this would be seen as a good way of promoting minority languages, which the Dept is obliged to do under the European Charter of Regional and Minority languages. However the DUP are not like most people. They can hardly hide their hatred of anything remotely Irish. They could not of course say we are against this because they are anti Irish culture so someother excuse was to be expected. Their excuse is usually to do with the cost of implementation. However under this scheme the costs will be bourne by the promoter of the signs. So what other excuse could the DUP come up with? Read this little gem by DUP Strangford assembly member Michelle McIlveen

"Given the range of problems on Connor Murphy's desk he should be focusing on more important matters rather than a pointless political exercise about bilingual signage".

Of course there is nothing new or unexpected here from Unionists. The Irish Language Act has always been a bone of contention for the DUP and fellow unionists. Despite signing the St Andrews Agreement in 2006 which included that an Irish Language Act would be passed giving the Irish Language equal status in Northern Ireland, the DUP has vetoed every attempt Nationists have made to bring about it's introduction.

So fair play Hector for highlighting this bigotry and as you say yourself

 “My attack is against a political party which refuses to respect my culture and my language.”



  2. A FREE Presbyterian minister has called on Peter Robinson to reconsider his statement indicating he would attend mass in a Roman Catholic church.

    Mr Robinson said that he would attend a funeral mass either as a “mark of respect” to dead friends or in his role as first minister.

    Rev Thomas Martin, from Lisburn, claimed the DUP leader was on “dangerous ground” and that it was “blasphemous” to attend a Roman Catholic service.

    “Sadly Mr Robinson, a born-again Christian, has reversed this Biblical order in his remarks and not only has he offended many evangelical Christians but more importantly he has done great harm to the person and work of Christ,” said the minister.

    “You are on very dangerous ground, Mr Robinson, for you are playing politics with eternal truth.

    “I would ask you to reconsider your position on the matter remembering it is Christ’s honour and glory, and the way of salvation, that is the real issue here.”

    He said that no-one would want to cause any further distress to a grieving family but said “there are alternative ways in which one can show respect to Roman Catholics” without attending mass.

    “In conscience, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and believe His once for all sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross to be sufficient for salvation could not attend or be part of the mass.”

    Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week, Mr Robinson said: “I would have no objection to attending the funeral of a friend who was a Roman Catholic.

    “I wouldn’t be going as an act of worship, I would be going as an act of respect for the individual.”

    However, he added: “These are personal matters and some of my other colleagues might have a different view on them.”

    Lord Bannside, who as Ian Paisley founded both the DUP and Free Presbyterian Church, was famed for his vocal criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church, describing the mass as “an abomination” and “idolatry”.

    The Evangelical Protestant Society said it hoped there would be no attempts to pressurise DUP members who oppose the mass on theological grounds to attend Catholic services.

    “We note that the first minister has stressed that his decision is a personal one and that others of his colleagues might have a different view... we would therefore hope that no attempts will now be made by the usual suspects to demonise or persecute those evangelical Protestants who come to conclusions contrary to those of Mr Robinson,” the group’s secretary Wallace Thompson said.

    Last night a spokesman for the DUP said that no one was available to comment on Mr Martin’s concerns.

  3. According to Eamonn Mallie on twitter the UCUNF pact between the UUP and the English Tories is dead. I suppose we can expect a Pan-Unionist pact in order to block SF getting the First Ministers job.


  5. FORMER Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman Cecil Calvert, has resigned from the Traditional Unionist Voice and revealed he will run in the forthcoming council elections as an independent.

    Mr Calvert, who had been a lifelong member of the DUP before moving to the TUV in 2007, said he had taken the decision to resign from the TUV after he failed to secure the party’s nomination as an Assembly candidate for the May elections despite being the only candidate.

    At a meeting of Lisburn City Council on Tuesday evening Mr Calvert, who has been a councillor for the Killultagh ward for 26 years, announced he was now serving as an independent councillor and confirmed that he would be running as an independent candidate in May.

    “From the inception of the Lagan Valley TUV branch four years ago, when I was unanimously elected as Chairman, I have worked tirelessly to build up the branch,” said Mr Calvert.

    “On the evening of March 10, at our selection meeting for an MLA candidate, our Vice Chairman, Keith Harbinson withdrew his name for personal reasons and I was the only candidate left in for the position. After my presentation and election took place and I was not endorsed as an MLA candidate.

    “As no other candidate has put their name forward, Party leader Jim Allister proposed that a central committee would decide on an MLA candidate for Lagan Valley.”

    Mr Calvert said he still supported the principles of the TUV but confirmed that he had resigned from the Party following the selection meeting.

    “I have been honoured to be elected time and time again over the past 26 years and I publicly thank my constituents for their faith in me over the years,” he continued.

    “The highlight and honour of my political career was to be elected Mayor of this city in 2004.”

    Mr Calvert pledged to continue working for the people of Killultagh. “I may be 70 but God has given me health and strength and guidance to go forward for May 2011 Council elections as an independent unionist” he said.

    “My life is in God’s hands and not the hands of a political party. I have prayed about it and if it is God’s will then I will get in to sit on this council.

    “I will do my best for the people and I will be going all out to win my seat,” he added.

    A spokesperson for the TUV said the party wished Mr Calvert all the best in the future.

  6. FORMER North Down UCUNF candidate Ian Parsley has said that he is leaving politics.

    The North Down independent councillor — who defected from Alliance to the Conservatives in 2009 before leaving the Tories last year — said that he would not be fighting May’s council election for “primarily personal” reasons.

    He said that moving from North Down to Newtownabbey and his father’s diagnosis with dementia were factors in his decision, as was the need to concentrate on his business during the recession.

    “I daresay I would hope to return to it again some time in future,” he said, adding that he believed Holywood’s current three councillors “regardless of party affiliation” had “well served” the area.

    Mr Parsley’s partner and fellow former UCUNF candidate Paula Bradshaw left the UUP last year – after failing to be selected in South Belfast – and joined Alliance.

  7. Published on Wednesday 30 March 2011 17:56

    TRADITIONAL Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister has commented on what he said was an “unannounced” visit to Ballymoney by Martin McGuinness last Friday.

    In a statement TUV Leader Mr Allister said: “The spectacle of IRA Godfather McGuinness strutting around Ballymoney with his DUP buddies, Peter Robinson and Mervyn Storey, was a sickener for many. Clearly, the DUP has forgotten who this man is, but those who care about the innocent victims of his IRA have not.

    “With Council funding involved in the Dunlop Memorial Garden, Cllr Audrey Patterson has demanded to know why the plan to bring McGuinness was concealed from councillors.

    “For my part bringing McGuinness to Ballymoney was wholly inappropriate. It is also a demonstration in action of the joint nature of the office which the DUP shares with Sinn Fein. Peter Robinson, being politically joined at the hip with McGuinness, can’t do anything as First Minister without McGuinness in tow.”

    Taken from the Ballymoney Times


  9. One reason for supposing that Paisley and his supporters condone terrorism is that they have been unusually willing to conduct funerals for loyalist terrorists. William McCrea and Ivan Foster conducted funerals for Wesley Somerville and Horace Boyle, members of the notorious Portadown UVF cell led by Robin Jackson. Foster gave a graveside oration for Sinclair Johnston, a Larne UVF shot by the RUC during rioting in 1972. McCrea buried Benjamin Redfern, a UDA lifer who was crushed by a bin lorry while trying to escape from the Maze prison. Robert 'Basher' Bates, convicted of a number of vicious murders committed by Lenny Murphy's 'Shankill Butchers' gang, was murdered by a loyalist in June 1997 and was buried by Free Presbyterian minister Alan Smylie. Smylie had come to know Bates through his prison chaplaincy work in the Maze. Roy Metcalfe, a Lurgan businessman who sold army surplus clothing and loyalist memorabilia, was murdered by the IRA in October 1989, purportedly because he was active in Ulster Resistance and the UVF. He was buried by Free Presbyterian minister David Creane. Revd David McIlveen buried UDA man Raymond Elder in 1994. When Billy Wright, the UVF man who founded the breakaway Loyalist Volunteer Front was buried, the Reverend John Gray conducted a short service outside his home.

  10. I see one Unionist party is brave enough to stand against the tide when it comes to a Corporation Tax cut.