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Remembered Today:

Belfast Northern Ireland attacked again


markinbelfast
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After reading the thread "We've just had our War Memorial restored" I thought I would post the latest attack on the British War Graves in the Falls Road area of Belfast...an island of equals rings very hollow....back to the "good" old days of no one from my community feeling safe to visit their loved ones graves?

Last summer

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This morning

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Thats heartbreaking Mark. Is it a gravesite or memorial?

Isadore

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This is a disgrace however it seems to occur in many places these days.

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I have mentioned before, that its time the local authorities,

placed C.C.T.V. survalence on these monuments.

No matter where they are located.

This is just mindless vandelism for the sake of vandalism.

Connaught Ranger :angry:

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Looks like the remains of a barbecue. The heat from the fire presumably being sufficient to crack the memorial.

Nice idea about CCTV, Connaught - but who would pay for it, given all the other pressures on local government?

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God this is terrible, did some one in the area not see the fire ? or do we still have the four monkey rule see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing............do nothing. Peter
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this is the work of mindless vandals. obviously youths, who are unfortunatly products of the generations before them who instilled this attitude into them on both sides of the population. and not just in ireland. very sad to see.

mike .

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This is probably just the work of mindless yobs, rather than any sectarian organisation. I wonder, however, in view of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, if a formal request for help could be made to the local priest, and the local councillors (SF?). It would reflect very badly on them if they did not offer to help.

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I've just had a quick check of the news sites here and it looks to have got underneath the radar. This really is obscene. No doubt the little darlings are swapping mobile phone snaps of it now.

Charming.

Now that the caravanning season has begun the war memorial in my village has taken up it's usual summer occupation as a climbing frame. My neighbour remonstrated with the latest group of kids she found jumping all over it and trampling the flower beds, only to be responded to with foul language, kicked up soil and spit.

The local kids are not angels by any means, but the local RBL's education programme surrounding remembrance has hit the mark as far as teaching respect goes.

Cheers,

Nigel

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This is probably just the work of mindless yobs, rather than any sectarian organisation. I wonder, however, in view of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, if a formal request for help could be made to the local priest, and the local councillors (SF?). It would reflect very badly on them if they did not offer to help.

mindless yobs-yes

sectarian organisation-no

sectarian overtones...I'd say so

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Hello Mark,

Yes, there are obviously sectarian overtones, so what would happen if an appeal was made to their parish priest? Whatever his opinions might be about the army, no priest could condone such desecration, and faced by that moral dilemma, he might be forced to utter a public condemnation - or has this approach already been attempted?

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Oh, that's dreadful. I just don't know what to say, except to be grateful our little plaque is inside the church, where it's only suffered from time and batsh1t.

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Sorry Pals, I don't believe that a approach to the local priest would work,as the morons who did the damage show as much respect for the church as they do for the memorial.

In this day and age what is needed is proper education at school level (that's if they go to school)

by pillars of the community from both traditions acting together to show that it is no longer acceptable to carry out this kind of thing.

At the moment one of the great things to see is kids from all parts of N.Ireland being brought to Flanders or the Somme to see where their fore Fathers fought side by side with traditions forgotten about.

A lot more work needs to be done, its a long road, but we have already come a long way.Peter

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Just want to add my disgust at this vandalism.

There could well be sectarian overtones here from some idiots, particularly as they associate the dead of WW1 with only one side of the community in Ireland. The truth is that they have never been told about the nationalist contribution to the war and their motivation - to secure home rule for Ireland. (This collective amnesia suited both 'sides' in Ireland for many years.)

In recent years many people in leadership postitions within the nationalist community have been travelling to Messine and the Somme to look at this part of our shared history and bit by bit the associaton of rememberance with political or national identity is being challenged, but you'll always have the ******** element and the vandal.

As for Stanleys suggestion of talking to the parish priest ....... for gods sake stanley do you really think the PP has any position of authority in Ireland any more? Your image of our country must be based on some pretty outdated thinking.

Mark - Do you know when this was done?

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Hello Inishowen,

My question about the "local priest" (or SF councillors) was in the context of community involvement. It projects a poor image of the Falls Road area if this sort of valdalism is being carried out.

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There you go again Fearghal, hitting the nail on the head, nice one .Peter

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Hello Inishowen,

My question about the "local priest" (or SF councillors) was in the context of community involvement. It projects a poor image of the Falls Road area if this sort of valdalism is being carried out.

Hi Stanley,

Sorry for biting your head off there. I apologise.

On the SF councillors issue, I know that Tom Hartley of SF is very interested in the whole area of remembrance and runs walking tours of some of Belfasts cemeteries. A number of years ago he was involved with the late David Ervine of the PUP in making a documentary about the involvement of both sides of the community in Belfast in WW1 and there was a very interesting scene shot in Mill Road Cemetery of both men walking through the headstones and talking about the wars impact on their home city. I hope that the vandalised memorial will be rebuilt and that the entire community comes out to mark its re-dedication. Those who are remembered by it came from every community in Belfast, remembrance does not belong to only one side of our historical divide.

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A lot of education needs to take place. I am unsure if many history teachers have the 'street' knowledge or the willpower to get things in context. I have my own ideas ... and they would not involve nicey nicey trips away. I would love to have a full on, open, hard hitting debate in a classroom of kids from both sides of the divide who actually live in the areas which are hardest hit by sectarianism.

Lots of eyes need opened in modern day Northern Ireland.

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Guest KevinEndon

Desmond, you say about the hardest hit areas of the divide. When I was out on the Somme and did the tour with Ted and the Harbour Somme lads and lassies, we were all stood in silence when we looked at a cross planted where McFadzean fell. Upon the cross was a plaque from the association from Derry, not Londonderry. I think the respect is getting through maybe not to the teenagers of these areas but getting through slowly but surely.

The memorial beside the Falls road has been attacked by scum, similar scum to those who put nazi stuff on Worthings memorail, similar scum to those who made a mess of Notre Dam De Lorette. The scum that no matter what you try to bang in their heads it will never enter.

My idea is for every child aged 12 in the U.K. to be made to go out to the battlefields and see the likes of Tyne Cot, Menin Gate, Loos and Thiepval along with many other cemeteries. If that doesn't make them think again then I feel nothing will.

I can only hope that the damage to the memorial is repairable and the scum who did it got a huge fright when it broke as it looks as if they were having a fire in a shaded area (wrong I know) when things went totally wrong.

I may be miles off the mark with the above but its my opinion which probably in the context of things does not count for much

Kevin

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My idea is for every child aged 12 in the U.K. to be made to go out to the battlefields and see the likes of Tyne Cot, Menin Gate, Loos and Thiepval along with many other cemeteries. If that doesn't make them think again then I feel nothing will.

Kevin

My opinion, and everyone is entitled to theirs, is that this is a wasteful idea. I've toured many battlefields and memorials around Europe and beyond. I've seen gravestones used as something to leapfrog at Tyne Cot, youths suck their cheeks in while having their pic taken in Dachau as well as standing holding their hands towards the crematorium as if to keep warm.I've sat in Oosterbeek amazed as teachers happily chatted about their junket while those in their care cheered at film to planes being shot down,if they werent cheering they were playing music through their mobile phones.

My idea would to be when the police see the likes of the fire at the memorial and other such things, rather than drive on by to the kebeb/pizza shop and bakery stop and arrest those involved-hey you might have to do you paid job but sh1t happens. Rather than fall for the sob stories before the court why can't a prison sentence and a fine to cover the cost of repairs be imposed...not the nonsense you can read about on bebo. You just have to look at their sites on bebo to know that young offenders centers dont frighten them whatsoever.

Re the fine...none of this pay 10p a week as they are on the dole...go to their houses and see the 52 inch plasmas with sky in every room..take that put into an auction and it will go towards the costs....their parents with their tears of 'my little billy/paddy is a lovely child' may soon well change their tune when it hits them personally.

Rant over.

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Some points which are NEVER addressed but should be, in terms of community understanding:-

1. The vision of Ireland - those who know little of history tend to identify with stereotypes. For example, and I believe this is a very salient point and IT DOES have a link right through to WW1 ...

I dare say NONE of the vandals who wrecked this memorial think of the 1798 Rebellion (Wolfe Tone/an Ireland free for Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter etc etc) in anything other than 'green' terms. It is viewed by them as yet another glorious but doomed rising against the occupying forces. Thus we have a stereotype created.

What needs to happen is that those who fall into this category of 'green tinted goggles' should learn that ... A: The 1798 rebellion was driven forward by Presbyterians from the northern counties - many of them from my area, which is now counted as 'ultra-loyal'. The original vision of Wolfe Tone etc was based much more on the French Revolutionary ideal than it was on pure nationalism for nationalism's sake. Tone, Orr etc, as I read it, did not envision their rebellion just as a simple military action ... their ideals were forged by the determination to end the supremacy of the Anglican Church, which at that time, was pretty much detested by everyone in Ireland except members of that denomination. They had the 'big houses', the big jobs and were vastly over-represented at every level. All the other residents of Ireland had to bend the knee to that situation or bail off to the USA (where they joined many of their relatives who had fought for American Independence).

Thus you have, in my area and many others in what are now known as pro-union parts of Northern Ireland or the North of Ireland (should that term be more fitting), devout Presbyterians leaving their fields to fight for religious and civil liberties IN THEIR TRUEST SENSE. The Scots-Irish of Ulster played a leading and a surprisingly NON-SECTARIAN role in the rebellion. Sadly, the rebellion in the deep South was marred by blatantly sectarian pogroms against the Protestant population ... the seeds of distrust are sown.

And so, just 50 years later, these same Presbyterians who were flying the green flag and willing to fight and die for a truly Republican (as a form of democracy rather than as a code word for nationalist supremacy) ideal have been transformed into the staunchest defenders of the Crown. In another 70 years they would fight and die for 'King and Country'. What a turn-around?

There are many discussions which need to occur. Both sides must re-evaluate their adoipted positions. True respect will only come when people do not fear to debate such puzzling parts of our history ... such debates are meaningless within the context of nice university meeting rooms or sterilised and PC 'let's get the kids together and be really down with it' sessions. The people who need to debate these things and think about them are not those who come from £400,000 homes ... the real work needs to be done with the scrotey kids who are growing up in crap places with crap prospects and who simply believe all the stereotypical legends which have been handed down and NEVER challenged within their environment.

Oh yeah .. and it works two ways.

Yours

Des Ranthead of Verbosity Esq.

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As rants go Des, that was a good one. The best trips to the western front that I have been on have been with young people from tough areas like Woodstock and Short Strand, or on another occassion Rosemount and Nelson Drive. Talk about eyeopeners! They were all on programmes run by the ISPS, and the impact which a few days on the Somme and around Messine had on them was unreal. The futility of violence is there for all to see. The bonds of brotherhood between the 36th and 16th on Messine Ridge. The heroism of John Meeke, risking his life to save the life of his political enemy John Redmond. And at night young people who just couldn't get to meet each other at home really did get into some heavy discussions. Friendships were made over there that never would have happened at home. Personally I think these programmes should be available to every child in the country but in particular those living at bad interfaces or in really 'hard line' communities where distrust and hatred of the 'other crowd' runs very deep.

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Sorry Des most of these morons think that Wolfe Tone is a Folk Group ,they cant think pass the last can of Harp.But you are right, it will take a long time to try and root out what they have been fed since the time they where in the pram or in deed for that matter what there parents where fed . But there is hope, and a great deal of work has been done.[/size] Only last April I met a group of Belfast women from both traditions in Ieper, they laid a wreath together at the Menin gate during the Last Post Ceremony, these where Mothers young and old, from the Shankill and Falls.We hope at least their kids will be educated.
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It is a shame that the Irish politics of old are still the Irish politics of today and therefore if the discussion ventures much further this thread might become napoo, but I have to say that the contributions here have been very interesting reading and have helped me to understand something more of the place where I chose to come to live.

Oh and Des, verbosity only applies when something no longer holds the attention, not something that can be levelled against any of the posts here. Keep going, I'm learning loads.

Cheers,

Nigel

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