The government has announced plans for a Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take place in 2022.
The proposal was unveiled as the Conservatives gathered in Birmingham for their annual party conference.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the festival will strengthen what she describes as “our precious union”.
On Sunday, she defended her approach to Brexit, after former foreign secretary Boris Johnson labelled her plan for leaving the EU as “deranged”.
Mrs May has said those who refuse to back the Chequers plan for Brexit are “playing politics”.
NI centenary not mentioned
The Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is described as a “nationwide festival in celebration of the creativity and innovation of the United Kingdom”.
Downing Street said it will mark the anniversary of a number of events.
However, the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland in 2021 was not specified on their list.
Downing Street described the nationwide festival as a “unique event” that echoes the 1851 Great Exhibition and will take place 70 years after the 1951 Festival of Britain.
“Just as millions of Britons celebrated their nation’s great achievements in 1951, we want to showcase what makes our country great today,” said Mrs May.
The festival is due to begin four months before the next scheduled general election, but Boris Johnson has refused to say that Mrs May should lead the Conservatives into their next Westminster campaign, whether that happens in 2022 or much sooner.
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story. Continue reading “Theresa May announces Festival of Great Britain and the North of Ireland plan”
FLAGS representing a loyalist paramilitary group and inscribed with an Irish language slogan have been flown in a Co Down town.
The Red Hand Commando (RHC) flags appeared on a lamppost in the centre of Ballynahinch. They include the phrase ‘Lamh Derg Abu, a reference to the Irish phrase ‘Lámh dhearg Abú meaning ‘Red Hand to victory’. People in Ballynahinch have spoken of feeling uncomfortable at the sight of the flags, with one telling The Irish News that the paramilitary group “should not be represented in a public place”, close to a library and health clinic.
The RHC, a small loyalist grouping with close links to the UVF, was founded in 1972 and was responsible for 13 murders during the Troubles. Amongst the killings was the 1976 murder – along with the UFF – of former Sinn Féin vice-president Máire Drumm, who was shot dead as she recovered from an eye operation in the Mater Hospital.
In September last year it applied to the British Home Office to be removed from the UK’s list of proscribed terrorist groupings, as part of a bid to become a community organisation. Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond jnr was beaten to death by the UVF in 1997, said the ban should be lifted.
The RHC flags with the Irish language slogan have appeared at several locations across the north in recent years and have also featured on loyalist murals. Sinn Féin north Belfast councillor JJ Magee tweeted: “So no Irish language act, no Irish street signs, no Irish place names but hey Irish language on a Red Hand Commando flag, yes of course #headscratchingmoment”. The introduction of an Irish language act has been a major sticking point to the return of power-sharing at Stormont in negotiations between Sinn Féin and the DUP.
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.
The current system of dealing with the legacy of the Troubles may be “the worst betrayal of servicemen by the political leadership of any country anywhere on Earth” an MP has claimed.
Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former captain with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery who served three tours in Afghanistan, made his claim after the Public Prosecution this week it is to prosecute David Holden, a then-18-year-old soldier, over the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Aidan McAnespie .
It happened at a checkpoint in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, in 1988 as Mr McAnespie walked to a GAA match. The shots were fired shortly after Mr McAnespie walked through the checkpoint.
Mr Holden had said his hands were wet and his finger slipped on the trigger of his heavy machine gun. He was charged with manslaughter in 1988 but the charge was later dropped.
It is understood the decision to prosecute now hinged on the findings of a fresh ballistics report commissioned by the PPS.
Mr Mercer made his feelings on the treatment of veterans known in a column in the Daily Telegraph, under the headline: ‘The hounding of former servicemen for Troubles-related actions is a national shame.’ He said: “We continue to dance on the head of a pin on this issue, whilst yet another veteran is committed for trial on a historical allegation that has been investigated already and occurred over 30 years ago.
“It must end. We must find a way forward. The Iraq Historical Allegations Team that I campaigned against and eventually forced to shut, is now viewed as a catastrophic breakdown of the bonds between those who fight and their political masters.
“It was not that way at first. I was regularly dismissed in my efforts to expose the deep injustices in that process, and I am beginning to sense the same attitudes creeping back.” He added: “Let’s be clever.
A full scale ‘statute of limitations’ is too broad-brush. “But doing nothing – the de-facto position of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) when not under pressure – is not an option any more.” He said the government must now “re-apply” itself to this process and not cast it aside as being “too difficult” a task.
“It requires a whole of Government approach – the Attorney General, the Northern Ireland Office, the MoD and the Prime Minister. “Most of all we want ministers to show some leadership and ownership, and a relentless refusal to accept the status quo that prosecuting soldiers for historic issues is wrong.
“The current system is perhaps the worst betrayal of servicemen by the political leadership of any country anywhere on Earth, and it is happening in Britain today.”
In yesterday’s News Letter the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, said it was unfair to prosecute Northern Ireland veterans unless fresh evidence is uncovered.
To get some balance in legacy, the government should release information that links politicians to terrorism A former soldier is to be charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, in connection with the shooting of Aidan McAnespie at an Army checkpoint in 1988.
With many thanks to: The Newsletter for the origional story.
A PRINCIPAL has disputed a claim that UDA flags have been put up “at the entrance” to a primary school.
Loyalist paramilitary flags have been erected in the Malton Drive area off Malone Road, close to several schools in south Belfast.
Among the UDA flags is one beside a school traffic warning sign on a lamppost along Finnis Drive.
Taughmonagh Primary School is at the end of the nearby Findon Gardens.
On Sunday, SDLP councillor Donal Lyons said “dozens” of UDA flags had been put up in the south Belfast area including “at the entrance to a primary school”.
“There can be no purpose in hanging these flags other than to glorify the terrorist acts of the past, and claim authority and control of an area in the present,” he said in a press release, which included a photo of the flag at Finnis Drive.
He added: “The fact that these UDA flags have been put up at the entrance to a primary school and outside the local community centre where young children will be forced to pass under them is particularly outrageous.
“There is no justification for these flags to be up and no reason that they should stay up.”
However Janet Douds, principal of Taughmonagh Primary School, branded the description of the flag’s location as a “complete fallacy”.
“The actual flag in question is on a school sign 0.2 miles from our school gates. It’s a generic school sign for all schools in the area which include Harberton Special School, Fleming Fulton, Oakwood and Glenveagh.
“The actual roadway up into my school is Findon Gardens, and there is not one single flag on that entire street – there’s nothing.
“As a school we are completely all-inclusive. We have Catholic parents who are more than happy to send their children here, and my fear would be that this would put other parents off.
“You have no idea how much this has annoyed our parents from both the Catholic and Protestant sides, because the parents know this is not a true reflection of what our school is and what it stands for.”
In response, Mr Lyons said: “I completely understand the school principal’s point and no school should have to get involved in a political matter of this type, which is why I didn’t single out any particular school.
“The fact is though that there are a number of schools in this area some of which have paramilitary flags at their school gates.
“The fact is also that the sheer number of paramilitary flags throughout Taughmonagh means that no child is able to go to school, use the playground or move around the estate without passing under the shadow of the UDA.
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.
PRSECUTION OF PROTESTANTS IN IRELAND: ETHNIC MYTHS AND EUROPEAN INTERVENTIONS
Persecution of Protestants in Ireland: Ethnic myths and European interventions
Persecution of Protestants in Ireland: Ethnic myths and European interventions
Posted By: Rodney Atkinsonon: July 05, 2017In: News Print Email
by Professor Arthur Noble
The Irish were not the original inhabitants of Northern Ireland, St Patrick was not Irish, the original Irish Christianity was not Roman Catholic and the biggest ethnic cleansing in Ireland was that of Protestants from Southern Ireland. As the EU tries to meddle in Northern Ireland during the Brexit process, many victimhood myths about Irish history and religion need to be strongly countered.
When the Irish Republic continues as an EU member after Brexit, it will retain what is the only land border with the UK. The EU is illegally interfering by tempting Northern Ireland with keeping its full EU membership on condition that it abandons the UK to become part of the Republic of Ireland; but Brussels must be totally ignorant of history or – to use the phrase which it disdainfully applied to Theresa May – must itself be living in another galaxy. The Northern Ireland Protestant majority would never vote to join a united Ireland, while surveys have revealed that support for it is waning further among the Province’s Roman Catholic minority,1 and 16% of the Sinn Féin electorate would not vote in favour of it either. (2)
From the Magna Carta through the Gunpowder Plot to Hitler’s Concordat with the Vatican, British history has been a constant struggle for freedom from the domination and jurisdictional claims of the Papacy, pursued through numerous plots and in various guises, and aided and abetted by the Southern Irish Roman Catholic State. The Reformation finally won for Britain liberty of faith and conscience, freedom of expression and freedom of the press; and when the principles of the Bible regulated all our actions and legislation, unparalleled social blessings and political greatness followed. The ensuing Williamite Revolution Settlement enshrined the Constitutional principle of the Monarch as Defender of the Protestant Faith.
Developments in Europe in the 20th century were not planned to end with merely economic or even political union. The ultimate goal was already revealed in the Papal encyclicals of Pius XII and John XXIII: Europe was to become “the greatest [Roman] Catholic superstate the world has ever known”. (3) The Vatican planned to give its ecclesiastical guarantee to this new Europe, which was to be the dynamic opposite of Churchill’s post-War vision of a democratic association of nation states.
The vicious campaign of lies, terrorist violence and denigration perpetrated against Ulster’s Protestant Unionist majority during the last decade of the 20th century was part of the Vatican’s plan for its envisaged Roman Catholic Europe. The ongoing campaign is currently being reflected in the vilification of the predominately Protestant-based Democratic Unionist Party for its support of Theresa May’s Conservative government. (But when their social Conservatism was mimicked by Angela Merkel in her vote against homosexual marriage she was not condemned because her aim is also the Vatican’s – a European Superstate)
From time immemorial the campaign was based on deliberate falsification of historical fact by the two traditional enemies of Northern Ireland – Irish Nationalism and the Roman Catholic Church. The Nationalists’ concept of ‘history’, fantasised by the rich Gaelic imagination and fused with the superstitions of the Roman Catholic Church, obscured historical truth and shrouded it in an aura of mystery and mysticism which was repeated so often that it came to be believed.
Nationalists portray the history of Ulster as having begun with the so-called ‘Plantation’ in the 17th century, when so-called Protestant ‘invaders’, described as British Protestant ‘colonialists’, are portrayed as having ousted the ‘original’ religion from the Island, which they claim was Roman Catholicism.
This is double nonsense: the original faith of Ireland was the pure, unadulterated Christianity preached by St. Patrick in the 5th century – Roman Catholicism was not known in Ireland until the 12th century; and those who came to the Island from Scotland and northern England during the ‘Plantation’ were the descendants of the original inhabitants of Ulster, expelled by the Irish invaders in the third century and returning to their rightful homeland.
Dublin’s historical myth
The Irish Government has stubbornly refused to acknowledge the historical truth that the Ulster Scots, not the Irish, were the original inhabitants of Ulster. Knowledge of this truth would quickly have put an end to Irish claims to jurisdiction over Northern Ireland.
The word ‘Ulster’ is derived from the name of a British tribe called the ‘Uliti’, who were first recorded by the geographer Ptolemy on the earliest known map of the British Isles drawn in the second century A.D. The map records that other British tribes such as the Pretani, from which the term ‘Briton’ is derived, constituted the dominant population in both Ulster and northern Britain in these ancient times. Hence the name ‘British Isles’. Not one single Irish name of any feature appeared on Ptolemy’s map.
Moreover, the Romans referred to the ‘Britannic Islands’: the smaller island was called ‘Little Britain’ and the larger Island ‘Great Britain’ (the latter designation having originally nothing to do with military or other greatness). The Irish did not arrive until the third century A.D., and it was they who originally ‘colonised’ Ulster, launching an attack under Queen Maeve from their Midland Kingdom of Meath against the north-eastern Uliti, many of whom fled to Scotland from the Irish Gaels (a name which means ‘bandits’). When the Ulster Scots returned during the ‘Plantation’, they were coming back to the land from which they had been ousted by the Irish.
The Vatican’s historical myth
St. Patrick was not Irish at all. Nor was he a Roman Catholic. He was British, born about 389 AD in the Severn area and abducted as a teenager by Irish marauders, who brought him to Ireland and kept him in captivity for six years. His Confession, reflected in the Book of Armagh, also known as the Codex Ardmachanus, exposes the mythical fantasy surrounding his life. The Roman Catholic hierarchy falsely calls him the ‘Apostle of Ireland’; but Christianity had been known for at least 200
With many thanks to: Freenations.net for the origional story.