Friday, October 14, 2005

Victimised? (2)

I repeat my comment in yesterday's post that "feelings are as important as fact", i.e. a widespread Catholic feeling of past victimisation is as significant and serious as whatever discrimination may have occurred. To that extent the Protestant community needs to reach out in sympathy, whatever the facts (and the facts will vary).

William Frazer, the victims group leader who walked out of the meeting where Fr. Alec Reid compared Unionist treatment of Nationalists to Nazi crimes against humanity, has penned a highly interesting, well written account of the meeting on his website (here). I don't endorse all he says, but he makes some convincing points that Nationalists and Republicans should consider. At one point he questions the extent to which Catholics were actually victimised by the Unionist state, saying, "[Nationalists and Republicans] hold in their hearts a bitterness and sectarian hatred that is based on a myth. Their church with its school system has perpetuated a distorted version of history. Their version of history instils a sense of victim hood into the Roman Catholic community that has no relation to fact."

Feelings are as important as fact. But not more so. What facts can you share? I'd like to try something out here. If you're a Catholic visitor to this blog, take a moment to leave a comment. How unfair was the government of Northern Ireland? Let's exclude "street" sectarianism and concentrate on public sector institutions, local government bodies, the police force, UDR and British Army. Give specific instances of how you or a close relative were victimised.

Just one rule: state facts only, not opinions.

7 Comments:

At 8:37 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

I posted yesterday at EU a post called "We're All Nazis" but at the end I linked to a piece of work by John Whyte (held at CAIN) called "How much discrimination was there under the unionist regime, 1921-68?". It makes good reading.

 
At 10:03 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Hello Beano, yes I saw that. Makes good reading. BU.

 
At 7:06 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Austin Curry's book...Dennis Kennedy, a discrimination wasn't that bad proponent, said it made him reflect...

 
At 7:27 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who was brought up through the Catholic school system and in the faith, I can assure you that not once was I taught victimhood. Methinks this is just one of Willie's myths - kinda like the myth of innocence of some of those listed on his website.

 
At 1:12 p.m., Blogger Jo said...

I remember sharing the almost tangible fears or Catholic friends if we were out and were stopped by the UDR in particular.

Having seen the recent BBC documentary on the Miami murders, I can understand that fear more. The UDR surrounded a car I was in 2 weeks after the LOughall police station attack. They appeared from nowhere and accused the driver of having a stolen vehicle. This was nonnsense - I had been with him as we picked up the hire car shortly before. I thought we were going to be shot - they were aggressive poitning guns at the car and ultimately talking nonsense. Still sends shivers!

 
At 10:13 p.m., Blogger Southern_Dude said...

I was never brought up with a hatred of Protestants in schools or at Mass every Sunday (which I no longer attend), and I strongly resent the attempt to tar the Catholic clergy with the PIRA brush. Clonard was not involved in the PIRA. I recall I think reading on the FAIR website ages ago that they were linking Pope John Paul II to the IRA because of supposedly a rosary beads (or something else) that the Pope allegedly sent to one of the Hunger-Strikers. This is ludicrous. But I will say that our history lessons in school did tell the truth that there was many centuries of terrible persecution of Irish Catholics, north and south, and also, that the Unionist majority-rule government in Stormont DID overtly discriminate against Catholics. Among the things that happened were: A: Gerrymandering in Derry which handed control of the Corporation to Unionist parties whose combined share of the vote was 36%. B: Abolition of Proportional-Representation in local and Stormont elections in violation of the Government of Ireland Act. C: Incendiary remarks by Ministers calling on Protestants not to emplot Catholics e.g. Lord Brookeborough "I recommend those who are Loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics 95% of whom are disloyal", and the urgings in the 1930's for Protestant employers to sack their Catholic workers. Brookeborough repeated his remarks a year later saying he had thought them through very carefully. D: 23,000 Catholics driven from their homes in Belfast in the 1920's, and 700 Catholic workers driven from their jobs at H+W. E: The Business-Vote, which gave up to 7 votes each to businesses in local-elections. Because most businesses were Unionist-owned they benefited electorally. F: The rate-payers rule, under which someone living with their parents (mostly Catholics) could not vote in local-elections. This was abolished in mainland UK in 1945 but retained in NI until 1965. I know why. G: The Flags and Emblems Act which banned the Tricolor while promoting the Union Flag. H: Security-force collusion with Loyalist terrorists including Miami showband killings, Pat Finucane murder, murder of Seamus Ludlow in Co.Louth in the Republic, and alleged involvement in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings which killed 33 people. Can I conclude by saying I do not hate Northern Protestants but that they have much less of a self-critical tradition than Irish nationalism and they need to admit the truth.

 
At 10:16 p.m., Blogger Southern_Dude said...

And I recall about 8 years ago that my uncle told me about someone who was killed in NI and that they suspected RUC involvement. Can't remember specifics though.

 

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