Monthly Archives: November 2018

Haunting Soldier

Pathetic and disgraceful, but all too typical of the mindset of some fringe republicans and others. They have been doing this for a century. It isn’t isolated. They cannot cope with monuments that reflect viewpoints they disagree with. Throughout the 20th century they destroyed all the monuments across Dublin that reflected the Unionist heritage of the city despite there being no public support to remove the monuments. The blew up the George II statue in St Stephen’s Green, the William III statue in College Green, the Gough statue in the Phoenix Park, and most notoriously Nelson’s Pillar on O’Connell Street – all artistically fine monuments whatever about their origins, and for which there was no support for their removal. Read more »


The River Somme

The River Somme.


Is it in Kent? Somebody said?

 No, it’s in France, its full of the dead.

Is it up north, or down in the south?

No, It’s a river, its wide in the mouth.

Is it quite young, can it grow old?

No, it’s fast flowing, its dashing and bold.

Is it blue water, does it turn white?

No, Its seen battle, its darker than night.

Is it meandering, maybe runs straight?

No, it’s in conflict, its war was called Great.

Is it through low land, flat on both sides?

No, it’s where men died, its secret it hides.

Is it still mentioned, talked of today?

No, its all over, its memories are grey.

Is it guide books, wrote down in French?

No, it’s broke both banks, it’s flooded the trench.

Is it for your eyes, a must to be seen?

No, it’s horrendous, it’s no soldiers dream.

Is it malignant, will it catch on?

No, it’s benign, it’s the Somme.


Courtesy of Volunteer RB.

Written in an English prison cell.



Paddy Fox, the UVF and a missing notebook

Every so often I come across a story that is more compelling for the questions it raises and about what is not included in the story. There’s a whole world of journalism from the Financial Times right down to the sensational and salacious papers.  Some journalists are more concerned with the truth than others. And some journalists are concerned with the facts of a matter.  Its important of course not to mix the two of them up. And in our wee country we know that the Irish News has its main audience in one community and the Newsletter has its audience in the other community.  Stories are often slanted to their own readerships. Read more »


Ballymurphy inquest: Claims UVF sniper fired at civilians

A claim has been repeated that a UVF sniper may have contributed to the deaths of some of the 10 people killed in Ballymurphy in 1971.

The inquest into their deaths has heard of a so-called “Witness X”, otherwise known as an “interlocutor”.

They have provided further information to the coroner stating that a UVF sniper was active in the area at the time of some of the deaths. Read more »


Carson’s last Stand


       This one-man show was only on for 2 nights in the Crescent Arts theatre. It was a nice combination of a study on the great man and a history lesson.  As well as highlighting the personal life of the man, like his first wife dying, it teases out the relationship between him and his adoring and loyal following in Ulster and Belfast.  Read more »


Greater Shankill ACT in poignant tribute to those who dedicated their lives to fighting republicanism

A temporary garden of remembrance was erected by the Greater Shankill ACT initiative, in a dignified tribute to those who the group say “dedicated their lives to fighting republicanism”.

The Greater Shankill ACT initiative has paid tribute to the men they say “dedicated their lives to fighting republicanism”. The tribute came as they unveiled a temporary garden of remembrance at Lawnbrook Avenue in Belfast’s Shankill area. Read more »


John Downey: Double murder accused released on bail

A County Donegal man wanted in Northern Ireland for suspected involvement in the murder of two soldiers has been released on bail from a Dublin prison.

John Downey has been in custody since Monday when he was arrested at his home near Creeslough.

The 66-year-old was granted bail on Thursday morning, but was not released from prison until 22:00 local time.

The delay was caused by the processing of a financial surety, amounting to 35,000 euros (£30,453).

Mr Downey is facing extradition over the murder of two UDR men in Enniskillen in 1972. Read more »


Leaked email shows PSNI offered secret deal to the republican Felons club

A leaked email outlines how the PSNI sought to come to an arrangement with the republican Felons club to withdraw any objections to the club. Simultaneously the PSNI continue to press such spurious allegations against social clubs within the loyalist community, with no such offers of undertakings or agreements.

A leaked document obtained by Unionist Voice shows that the PSNI sought to obtain a simple undertaking from the republican Felons club not to advertise on social media, in exchange for dropping any objections to their clubs registration. Read more »


The Letter to Leo: the Evolution of an Earthquake – By Niall Murphy

Last Friday, a letter was sent to an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, by over 1,000 people from right across nationalist civic society. Individuals with political affiliations and none, from the worlds of academia, health, the legal profession, business, the community and voluntary sector, sport and the arts made a direct public appeal to the Taoiseach to stand by his government’s stated commitment that no Irish citizen living in the north would ever be left behind by an Irish Government. Read more »


The arrested Loughinisland massacre journalists are pawns in a legacy struggle

More details have been revealed by the journalist Susan McKay about the circumstances of the arrest of the two journalists who researched Alex Gibney’s  exposé documentary No Stone Unturned.  The film gives a compelling account of alleged police negligence and collusion between some police officers and the murderers who committed the Loughinisland massacre in 1994, killing six people and wounding five when they burst into the Heights bar and sprayed it with bullets. The Ombudsman cleared one police commander.   Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey from the film-making arm of The Detail investigative website were arrested by armed police at their homes in August. They face further interrogation at the end of this month. The police inquiry is being conducted by Durham police on behalf of the PSNI, although the local force is heavily involved. Read more »