Can Entrench Sectarianism [Southern Warning]

James Daly james.irldaly at
Fri Mar 7 04:11:09 MST 2003

Just when I thought it was safe to read posts from John O'Neill he
sends this emetic about sectarianism. When I looked up his source, the
[British] Economic and Social Research Council, I found: This research
is funded by the Office of the First Minister/Office of the Deputy
First Minister in Northern Ireland.

We know that David Trimble wants to get rid of Sinn Fein [aka power
sharing]. When he received his egregiously undeserved Nobel Peace
Prize [of course they are rubbish anyway] he made a speech against
power sharing, claiming that the state should not be concerned with
"ethnic divisions" but only with "citizens" -- in other words, he
expressed his preference for a return to majority rule, to what a
Prime Minister of the former Government of Northern Ireland called "a
Protestant parliament for a Protestant people". Now there's

The only real alternative to it would be an Irish parliament for an
Irish people. Unfortunately in the '70s the leadership of the then
Sinn Fein -- strongly influenced by academics like the one John
O'Neill quotes now -- sent out a very, very firm directive to all
PRO's that the words "United Ireland" must not be used -- permitted
words were "a United Ulster" and "a Greater Ulster".

If there is to be a six county [N. I.] unit, power sharing is the only
possible protection for the minority -- which is secular nationalist,
not sectarian like Trimble's unionist party which has a powerful
Orange ["religious order"] bloc ex officio on its ruling Council, or
Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party [democracy = majority rule! -- no,
seriously, its original name was the Protestant Unionist Party], which
is going to be voted for in such numbers that Trimble has been able to
have the coming election postponed The nationalist working-class is
cornered; a Sinn Fein friend of mine led a highly successful strike of
lorry [truck] drivers until the loyalists discovered his affiliation
when he had to disappear and the strike [was] collapsed.

John recently quoted the Irish Republican politician de Valera's
famous statement that "Labour must wait" while the electorate decided
the issue between acceptance and rejection of the Anglo-Irish treaty
of the '20s. [And it did -- Connolly would not have, but he was dead,
and trade union organizer Jim Larkin stayed in the States until the
Civil War over the treaty ended -- when he returned and became the
loyal opposition to the partition government].

I have already pointed out that John's politics means that the
beleaguered ghettoes like Ardoyne must wait -- until the Catholic and
Protestant working classes of the six counties unite hand-in-hand and
tiptoe through the tulips...

James Daly

> Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 19:40:16 -0000
> From: "John O'Neill" <johnfergaloneill at>
> Subject: Belfast Agreement can entrench sectarianism
> Belfast Agreement power-sharing model can entrench sectarianism
>   The agenda at Hillsborough was long: from the existence of
> unionist willingness to share power, the British army presence,
> of justice, human rights, the Irish language everything except the
> problem: the fact that Northern Ireland is a deeply divided society.
And the
> peace process may be helping it to become more so, writes Robin
> In an era marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall, Northern Ireland
> accumulated, officially, 37 peace walls separating hostile
communities - up
> from 15 in 1994. And the recent Northern Ireland Office consultation
> on community relations admits: "Northern Ireland remains a deeply
> society with little indication of progress towards becoming more
tolerant or
> inclusive."
> Worse still, evidence from the Life and Times Survey on public
> shows a deterioration in intercommunal relations and diminishing
> about the future.
> A "blip" of polarisation after the Belfast Agreement might have been
> dismissed as the shock of the new. But five years, four suspensions
> three polarised elections on, at best the agreement has had a
neutral effect
> on communal division, at worst, it has unwittingly exacerbated it.
> in full at

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