Friday, July 28, 2006

Things that never happen in Garvary, Part 4

... mainly because it's even four miles from Lough Erne (God's own puddle).

Two men who stole a fishing boat to return to Dublin after missing their ferry home ended up sailing round in circles. The Irishmen, aged 19 and 20, who have no sailing experience, took the 30ft trawler, worth £40,000 from Holyhead.

They tried to sail the 67 miles home across the Irish Sea but were soon hopelessly lost and put out a Mayday call. It prompted a rescue mission by an RAF Sea King helicopter, a lifeboat from Holyhead and a coastguard cliff-rescue team.

"They thought they were speaking to coastguards in Ireland; they were very surprised when they realised they were talking to Holyhead," Ray Steadman, of the Holyhead lifeboat, said.
"They had no experience of the sea whatever. They didn't even know how to switch the cabin light on."

The men were eventually located off Wylfa, in Anglesey, having sailed 12 miles in the wrong direction. They were towed into Holyhead and handed to police, who arrested the pair on suspicion of criminal damage after the owner of the boat, Paul Jones, made a complaint.

Mr Jones, 38, a fisherman, said: "I am very upset. This is my livelihood ... they revved the engine up to the maximum and left it like that. I still owe money for the boat. To me this is very serious." Inspector Chris Jolley, of North Wales Police, said "probably alcohol had a part to play" in the incident.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A matter of identity

Well now. Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Permatan Hain, has announced that the IRA the given up criminality. Incredibly, though, his statement goes on to say, "There probably is still some localised individual criminality by former and maybe existing Provisional IRA members for their own private gain". (Oh, that's all right then).

Quick question, Pete: if members of the IRA murder someone, did the IRA murder them or was it just a couple of smackworthy scamps? Whether it was "sanctioned from the centre" or not doesn't matter a jot. Any fool will tell you it was the IRA.

So when members of that same IRA use their terrorist expertise and resources to flout the law of the land (both North and South) for personal, selfish gain at other people's cost, that too is the IRA. Lordy, how intelligent do you have to be to see that?

If you spent less time exposing your brain to sunbed rays, Pete, you'd register that these men are hardened criminals, anti-democratic, anti-constitution and anti-everything that doesn't fill their homes with ill-gotten gains. And, yes, the same goes for their many counterparts in other organisations.

You see, that's the problem: the organisations are still at work. Yes, I'm glad they're not murdering any more, but they now have to stop stealing too.

Friday, July 21, 2006


It's so obvious it's laughable. Not a day goes by without some noise from the UK government craftily designed to encourage pressure on the DUP - from within Northern Ireland - to accept its role in a devolved government.
The day before yesterday we had Permatan Hain saying the number of NI government departments would have to undergo a drastic cut. This is a pretty obvious ruse to get thousands of civil servants onto Paisley's case pronto. I love Hain's pseudo-logic: 'if it's OK to cut the number of local government authorities, then it's OK to axe central government units too'. Yes, PermaBoy, but who said it's right to cut the councils? Who said it makes sense to ditch Fermanagh District Council and have planning approvals for sheds in Belleek turned down in Cookstown? No one but a mad management consultant high on the stuff you never used to inhale in South Africa.
Today Permantan has pulled another emotional lever: Assembly members' staff are to be axed if there's no progress. Remember: I'm not arguing with the logic - of course an MLA with no job needs no staff - and regular readers will know I agree that Ian Paisley needs to embrace a new inclusive Ulster, but it's the sheer calculated cynicism of the Permatan machine that makes me realise England doesn't really give a stuff about Unionists any more.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Loyalism seeing the light?

Loyalism, that 'no surrender' brand of working-class unionism so courted by the DUP, has met the Éire taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, to see if he and Tony Blur really mean to impose joint sovereignty on Northern Ireland if the DUP don't pick their toys off the floor and enter a power-sharing Stormont government.
Apparently Ahern assured them there was no fallback plan to impose anything other than the terms of the Good Friday Agreement already set in stone.
Interestingly, Ian Paisley repeated, as recently as Wednesday, that he would never share power with Sinn Féin - a brave statement from someone heading a party with the word 'democratic' in its name - so November looks like being an interesting month for politicos and bloggers alike.
Even more interesting is the response to Paisley's utterances by David Nicholl, leader of the Loyalist delegation to Leinster House: "It is the same rhetoric we have heard as loyalists for the past 35 years ... What we would say in relation to that is: we've marched up the hill many's a time, and we've been let down many's a time ... But loyalism is not going to fill the grave or fill prisons for the next 35 years on anyone's behalf ... If there is blood to be spilled then let Dr Paisley spill his own blood, because it will not be our bodies he is climbing over."
Even two years ago I'd have fallen off my chair backwards if I'd heard this. But then a lot's happened since then. If I were Ian Paisley I'd ask myself some serious questions about what was threatening to happen to my biggest support base. I hope Paisley isn't too old to learn, perhaps for the first time, that a politician's role is to listen to the people, not to indoctrinate them with outdated diatribe.