Remarks by Fr.Reid in Presbyterian Church Belfast

FutureTaoiseach

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http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/irelan ... 9REID.html

Fr.Reid and Rev.Good were taking questions from Unionists in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, when, after negative questions from Unionists, including William Fraser, Fr.Reid said he needed to say some "straight" thing to Unionists. Including:

Of Catholics: " "They were treated almost like animals by the unionist community. They were not treated as human beings . . . they were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews."

and that there would not have been an IRA in NI but for this.

Your views?

I agree that the Provos probably wouldn't have come into existence but for the barbaric oppression of the Old Stormont with its vote-rigging, sectarian violence and vitrioltic hate-mongering. Even so, the "Nazi" term is a bit over the top and I suspect an apology may be wise.
 


civic_critic

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If you had been one of the 3000 men, women and children living in Springtown camp on the edge of Derry during the 50's and 60's, comparisons with the early days of the Warsaw ghetto may have made sense to you.
The laws that the nazis progressively made against jews throughout the 30's may also be suggestive of the attitudes and structures of northern society. There's more to the nazis manner of dealing with the jews than the 'Final Solution'.

Incidentally, i recently read of Heath's and his advisor's version of the 'Final Solution' - secret papers apparently reveal that they considered resettling half a million caholics and protestants along lines more suitable to themselves. Link here:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jan2003/ire-j11.shtml
 

badinage

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civic_critic said:
The laws that the nazis progressively made against jews throughout the 30's may also be suggestive of the attitudes and structures of northern society. There's more to the nazis manner of dealing with the jews than the 'Final Solution'
Except that Fr. Reid should know that Unionists won't see it that way. Unionists will interpret his comments to mean that he believes Catholics were virtually forced to wear arm-bands, placed into concentration camps and gassed. They intrepret his comments to mean that he's totally delusional, and a completely untrustworthy decommissioning witness.

...

And if we can use the Nazi metaphor with reference to the early 1930s, then lots of societies can be labelled Nazi. Our placing asylum seekers in Mosney can be used to describe Ireland as treating minorities like the Nazis did, in that case.
 

civic_critic

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I can assure you that Springtown camp and Mosney were two very different places. I agree that the connotation 'nazi' derives its horror from the final solution and as such seems to overstate the case; what would be better? Fascist? Apartheid?

Truth is, unionists, to my knowledge, have given no apology for what they did. In fact, they seem perfectly capable of doing it again. They are 'politically autistic', without the element of 'savant' that this suggests. Nazi describes in part, if not in whole, how they behaved. If they show no ability or interest - or even curiosity - about their own recent past then why should we care particularly about their sensitivites? Perhaps making them understand that we are going to represent it in this way to the world will force them get their act together to come up with some sort of real analysis of those times themselves. (I doubt it though.)
 

DOD

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Johnny said:
The truth hurts.........
Exactly. People are far too obsessed these days with appeasing unionists. The state they fostered carefully was a sectarian little sh1thole which was, on a smaller scale similar to Nazi Germany. It is about time we stopped handling unionists with pet gloves.
 

pogo

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Johnny said:
The truth hurts.........
But it isn't the truth, but rather MOPEry and extreme hyperbole.

Such remarks devalue the experince of those who have suffered genuine as opposed to imagined and self-inflicted persecution.

Such as Polish Jews whose numbers have been reduced from over 3 million to less than 20 thousand in less than a hundred years.
 

civic_critic

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It is hyperbole, but not extreme hyperbole. The numbers of protestants who joined the A, B and C specials meant that the proportion of armed state representatives relative to the population of nationalists was very high from the moment of partition right up to the early '70s (I don't remember the actual numbers). Over the last 35 years the numbers of soldiers, ruc and udr has also kept that proportion high. N. Ireland was the most heavily militarised zone in all of europe - including eastern europe - throughout the whole of the cold war.

Daily life in the north was extreme by anyone's standards. Relatively low numbers of casualities but always the possibility of death. The army raised its rifles continually when on patrol towards the nationalist population in order to make clear who was boss and what would happen if you stepped out of line. Indeed I believe that the lowering of their guns was part of the negotiations of the GFA. You can see the same occurring probably, if you observe closely, in Basra at the moment.

A friend of mine from Belfast who is usually reliable in his information told me about a UNICEF report somes years ago (I think the '80s) which investigated the stress levels amongst children in conflict situations around the world. It compared all the hotspots - Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mozambique, N. Ireland, etc.). It found that the highest consistent stress levels were to be found in children in n. ireland. My friend's explanation for this was that in the north it was always almost war but rarely full-on war. Children were subject to war stresses but the population was unable to fully commit to war (paradoxically with the relief that may bring).

So, comparing what happened in the north to the jews under the nazis is hyperbole, but not extreme hyperbole.
 

BarryW

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FutureTaoiseach said:
Of Catholics: " "They were treated almost like animals by the unionist community. They were not treated as human beings . . . they were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews."
What a stupid, stupid man.
At a time where the Unionists are already suspicious that he is an IRA stooge, its hard to imagine that he could have said anything worse
 

civic_critic

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Kissing the rear-end of unionists has hardly been a stunningly successful strategy in the past. Let those who feel like doing so express themselves according to their lights. Let the chips fall where they may.
 

BarryW

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DOD said:
People are far too obsessed these days with appeasing unionists. The state they fostered carefully was a sectarian little sh1thole which was, on a smaller scale similar to Nazi Germany. It is about time we stopped handling unionists with pet gloves.
So much for promoting peace and reconciliation.......ey, DOD :roll:
 

FutureTaoiseach

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He also said that in 50 years, we will all be in a United Ireland and that we will have 10 million people (or something) and we'll be speaking Irish. That in particular was VERY unwise of him.
 

SPN

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civic_critic said:
Kissing the rear-end of unionists has hardly been a stunningly successful strategy in the past. Let those who feel like doing so express themselves according to their lights. Let the chips fall where they may.
Unfortunately the revisionists have painted the Provos as the bad guys, conveniently forgetting the events, including Pogroms, that caused them to come into being.

We've got the Provos out of the game, now it is time for straight talking with the scumbags who started the whole mess in the first place.
 

rockofcashel

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And how would you promote peace and reconciliation barry ?

Lie

Pretend it didn't happen

You ignoramus.....

And thats meant passionately, not like the usual silly jousting I do here with you....

To call Fr. Reid stupid, when what he says is nothing more or less than the truth, to appease people who don't or won't give a damn about Catholics, not nationalists, not Republicans, but because they are Catholics, is to offer solace to the worst type of sectarian nonsense.

Then again, at this stage, I expect nothing more from you.
 

rockofcashel

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SPN said:
civic_critic said:
Kissing the rear-end of unionists has hardly been a stunningly successful strategy in the past. Let those who feel like doing so express themselves according to their lights. Let the chips fall where they may.
Unfortunately the revisionists have painted the Provos as the bad guys, conveniently forgetting the events, including Pogroms, that caused them to come into being.

We've got the Provos out of the game, now it is time for straight talking with the scumbags who started the whole mess in the first place.
Correct SPN
 

BarryW

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rockofcashel said:
.......... is to offer solace to the worst type of sectarian nonsense
Is referring to Protestants as Nazis not a wee-bit sectarian, in your opinion?!
 

BarryW

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SPN said:
Unfortunately the revisionists have painted the Provos as the bad guys, conveniently forgetting the events, including Pogroms, that caused them to come into being
Ah yes - the "causes of crime" theory.

New Labour would be glad to have you on board :roll:
 

oreiley1

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Very Interesting

The Irish Free state and their spineless leaders were the ones that abandoned the Northern Catholics to their enemies. Collins accepted the Treaty to avold civil war, then had a civil war anyway.

Even today our leaders pretend to be interested in the North. As in the 1920s a million belligerent Unionists would not be welcome in the south. Paricularly as their reps would control a quarter of the Dail seats.
 

Oldira

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pogo said:
Johnny said:
The truth hurts.........
But it isn't the truth, but rather MOPEry and extreme hyperbole.

Such remarks devalue the experince of those who have suffered genuine as opposed to imagined and self-inflicted persecution.

Such as Polish Jews whose numbers have been reduced from over 3 million to less than 20 thousand in less than a hundred years.

How many times have I heard Sinn Fein being called Fascist. particularly in the Dublin media? No outrage from Oberstrumfuher Frazier then. Look at the Orange Order and its pomp...it is very similar to the rallys that the Nazi used to hold with their banners and swords. The Orangemen see trhemselves as a master race and the Taigs are nothing but vermin to be trampled on.
 

Big Bruffer

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As a practising Catholic I must say I felt ashamed when I heard Fr Reids comments this morning. In his broad comments aired on radio he appears to be justifying the IRA on the grounds that they were acting as defenders of the Catholic and Nationalist communities, that their campaign of murder and destruction was somehow a noble struggle. Fr Reid as a Catholic and a Republican you do not speak for me and the IRA does not and has not acted on my behalf. Shame on you. But we should not be surprised his comments are just the latest in a list of statements by church leaders which show a moral ambivalence by the church towards IRA violence.

Let us not forget Archbishop (subsequently Cardinal ) O Fiaich . His comments about the H Blocks and the dirty protest , comparing them to slums of Calcutta fuelled an already incendiary situation. His failure to point out that the conditions were self inflicted was one sided and dishonest.

However in the history of the North there have been truly courageous religious leaders . In particular Cathal Daly has been a trenchant critic of violence as a means to an end. He has in the past criticised all sides where he felt such criticism was justified. Pope John Paul was equally clear in his message to the men of violence.

To sum up I should not have been too surprised by Fr Reids comments. But from a man that had been practically deified by the press I am disappointed
 


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