Wednesday, 20 May 2015

No Thank You Mr Windsor.

Rest in Peace.

Dear Charles Windsor,

What I am about to write should be of no surprise to you. As you travel the length and breadth of our great country please keep in mind the suffering that has been caused to the Irish people for generations. Yes there is a “magic about Ireland that is totally unique” coupled with an “extraordinary kindness” yet it must be said for centuries these qualities have meant little to the British State and monarchy.

In 1868 British Prime Minister William Gladstone announced his plans to “pacify Ireland”, it would seem his plans are still operational today. The peace process we are reminded of daily is to be blunt a not so well choreographed farce, a farce of a process where truth and justice are merely buzz words. For the death of your uncle you have had justice and closure yet for others this right involves battling a system that is not only inherently unjust but clearly loaded in favour of the British State.

As Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment your call for reconciliation can only be viewed as hypocritical with not one member of your regiment ever arrested for the Ballymurphy Massacre or for the war crimes committed on Bloody Sunday. What compounds this is that the potential for justice is a step further with each day that passes and is further hindered by cuts to legal aid which are in effect undermining the rule of law.
Whilst money is no object in your world with your multi-million pound uncapped state benefits and not a hint of the bedroom tax for any of your state funded properties, in the real world finding money for legal costs can prove impossible. For confirmation of this please ask Martin and Gerry as these two men are from two of the most deprived areas in the north, Derry's Bogside and Belfast's Ballymurphy.

Following Bloody Sunday the Taoiseach Jack Lynch announced a national day of mourning. During this time to quote a friend the people of Derry were “left to bury their dead and clean the blood of friends, family members and fellow civil rights campaigners off the streets”. The blood of people who took to the streets on that Sunday in 1972 to oppose many of the injustices we continue to face today. Their main chant on the march that day was “peace with justice” yet sadly their call has not been fulfilled by subsequent political leaders who seem content to welcome and accept pacification masquerading as reconciliation.

A Derry Mother.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Points Of View.

As a regular contributor to the PensiveQuill I would like to raise the following issue: In a comment posted on social media Derry Sinn Fein member Donnacha MacNiallais stated the following; “The Pensive Quill, the 'republican' blog whose sole purpose in life is to attack Sinn Fein. Their mediocre writers and contributors help create the cesspool in which those who attack republican homes in the dead of the night swim.”

Donnacha's comment is not only a direct attack on every individual who contributes to the Pensive Quill whether in the form of published articles or commentary, but an unwarranted attack on the right to free speech. At this rate Donnacha will be supporting the reintroduction of the Broadcasting ban!

Donnacha has made a broad sweeping accusation connecting contributions and comments published on the Pensive Quill with attacks on property and vehicles belonging to Sinn Fein members in Derry, yet Donnacha has forgotten one essential element in the midst of his wee rant – he has neglected to substantiate anything.

In a town that is no stranger to anti-social behaviour it beggars belief that Donnacha could link these recent attacks to a forum of debate. As someone who has had their car torched by arsonists I can testify to the level of anti social behaviour in my area. I was thinking of blaming the women's institute online discussion forum, but sadly like Donnacha I had no proof.

I am quite confident that if there was anything submitted to the Pensive Quill of the nature Donnacha suggests then Anthony McIntyre who runs the blog would refuse to publish it. As so maybe Donnacha could point out where and when contributors have helped create a “cesspool in which those who attack republican homes in the dead of the night swim”.

At this juncture I feel obliged to signpost Donnacha in the direction of the Human Rights Act, but then why let the Human Rights act get in the way of little diatribes from someone who has clearly nothing constructive to offer.

Article 10 of the Human Rights Act protects the following:

  • The right to political expression (including comment on matters of general public interest);
  • artistic expression; and
  • commercial expression, particularly when it also raises matters of legitimate public debate and concern.

Like any member of the public Donnacha could choose to avail of the reply button on the Pensive Quill should he take issue with any article or comment. However like all those who contribute to the Pensive Quill this would involve having his commentary challenged which is world apart from throwing out dangerous comments on social media.

What needs to be asked is; Is this Donnacha's personal opinion? If not is this the position of Sinn Fein on free speech? Or....... the position of the Bogside Residents Group of which Donnacha is a spokesperson? And on the subject of the Bogside residents group, with Donnacha tarring all contributors and commentators on the Pensive Quill with the one Brush does this include his compadre Robin Percival (Bogside residents group etc) who recently had an article published on the Pensive Quill.

And there was me thinking Muppets were confined to the television..he haw!