THE reason for bringing the loyalist Shankill protest to the peace-line at Lanark Way was to lead to clashes with nationalist youths.
And while I can understand how some young people got caught up in the fighting on Wednesday night, there was no need to return to the scene on Thursday. That led to clashes between the PSNI and nationalists on one side of the peace-line and the PSNI and loyalists on the other side.
Yes, loyalist youths are being used by older paramilitaries and this is really sinister to witness. Surely the police have enough social media evidence to make arrests and charge people.
But I would call on young nationalists not to get caught up in this violence because it is taking attention away from the real cause and that is loyalist paramilitaries who, nearly 30 years after the ceasefires, are still ruining their communities and leaving them like derelict wastelands.
• British army barracks was always a contentious issue
A chara, The article on April 3 regarding Glassmullin Green illuminates some truths and shades others.
Firstly, common land was given away to De La Salle against the will of the people. 600 local objections to less than 400 for the giveaway. Belfast City Council endorsed the giveaway. The issue was not explained to our community.
Many people who voted to give the Green away have since realised, as Cllr Arder Carson stated, “this was a very divisive development”.
Over 60% wanted to keep the green as a community facility. Maybe more so now but definitely no halfway split.
The context is all our green spaces and decisions made on our behalf, among them Falls Park 3G pitch and Casement Park community consultation is ignored. The anti-union zero hours GLL now controls our leisure services.
Those in power railroaded divisive decisions through government structures.
The loss of local ownership is now what we, our children and you, are faced with. The community rejection of Cllr Caoimhín Mc Giolla Mhín and MLA Rosie McCorley were two immediate electoral casualties of ill-judged and anti-democratic decisions.
Arder Carson said: “I was born and reared in that area. When the army took that entire site for a fort, there wasn’t as much contention as there was around putting this pitch in.”
For the record, not one brick was thrown by the community protesting against the giveaway, neither at De La Salle nor at those responsible. However, as a bone of contention, the army prosecuted a guerrilla campaign against that occupation of the Green. Rioting against that ‘fort’ wasn't unusual nor were gun attacks by the army. Passing children fired stones at that fort. The British military, from that fort, sent death squads out, to intimidate and brutalise the local community including pupils from De La Salle School. Contention Arder?
Is mise le meas,
• A new Ireland is on its way
THE PSNI investigation into Bobby Storey’s funeral has been completed. The PPS have decided that no action should be taken against the twenty-four people who were interviewed including Michelle O’Neill, although that is under review.
Arlene Foster called for the resignation of Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Colum Eastwood said that the Sinn Féin leadership should be held accountable. Jim Allister and Gregory Campbell jumped on the bandwagon but one attacked the DUP and the other said the damage to the PPS and the PSNI was incredible.
Anyone could be forgiven for thinking there was an election on the horizon.
Why did Arlene not call for the resignation of Simon Byrne over the Pitt Park incident or Rangers fans celebrating on the Shankill Road? Why does Colum Eastwood not ask in the House of Parliament for Bloody Sunday soldiers to face criminal charges for the murder of innocent civilians in Derry, who were branded terrorists by the British government and unionist politicians.
All this comes as more people across the island are not only voting Sinn Féin, but are joining Sinn Féin. A united Ireland is coming, it is time for people to accept it. Those who want to be part of that new Ireland should forget self-interest and think of the people of this island.
A True Republica
• Gerry Adams and reconciliation
Regarding Gerry Adams’ column on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that focus should be on reconciliation; while I agree with Gerry Adams’ message that we all want reconciliation, I would suggest that he does not use divisive and inflammatory statements such as "this dysfunctional, deeply corrupt and sectarian northern state" if he wants to hasten its coming.
• Change to youth work
I HAVE great admiration for the work of Glen Parent but I need to ask why do they work Monday to Friday? Saturday and Sunday are the two days they should be out! Youth service has to change their working patterns to meet the needs of the community they serve, not do hours that suit them. What’s the matter with working Wednesday to Sunday? I live in the area Glen Parent cover and I can see the need for them at weekends.
• Subtitle confusion
OVER the Easter period of lockdown I was drawn to a period film from the 1950s introduced by Hollywood actor Tyrone Power on the Irish channel TG4. The film, The Rising of the Moon, give succour to the misinterpreted image of the Irish people who fought against Imperialism and those who sought justice in many forms.
My anger however is reserved to the person who allowed the English subtitles to be broadcast. In instances where characters where speaking their language the subtitles read ‘Speaking a foreign language’. Shame on TG4.
• Well done, Stephen
BIG congratulations to Stephen Maginnes and his crew in Poleglass and that wider area for the brilliant work they do to keep the community safe. We could do with something the same in the Moyard and Slieve Dubh areas. Instead of having outreach youth works in the Belfast City Cemetery and Falls Park why are they not in the estates connecting with the young kids roaming about causing a nuisance? A bit of leadership from our elected reps might help.
A concerned parent, Moyard