Over the weekend I read–as I always do–the latest updates on Anthony McIntyre’s site–The Pensive Quill. For the uninitiated TPQ is a personal blog which mostly–but not exclusively–promotes Anthony’s own brand of Republicanism. Since I first starting reading it–following on from The Blanket–I have to say that I have always found it informative, entertaining and very educational.
Anthony himself can be very scathing of what he sees as the sell out merchants of the present day Sinn Fein and its style of republicanism. He can be disparaging not just to the entity that is Sinn Fein but also the personalities who call the tune for that particular band. TPQ is littered with brilliant articles from many contributors–articles that have given me a great deal of pleasure in reading. Like all similar type sites TPQ allows you to comment on the written pieces. Well, apart from Danny Morrisons blog page where the right to comment no longer exists. But where comments are allowed you run the risk of attracting not just the articulate or the genuinely concerned but also the abusive and downright ignorant. And this is what I found in regard to an article on TPQ yesterday. The piece in question was a short message advertising a Welcome Home party in Dugannon next week for Gerry McGeough. McGeough, of course is due for release after serving 2 years of an imposed 20 year sentence for his involvement in the attempted murder of a UDR man in 1981. McGeough was arrested and sentenced after the intervention of the Historical Enquiries Team in 2010/11. At time of writing the vast majority of cases being investigated by the HET are against Loyalists–over 90%. Two of the people who made comments in relation to the Helen McClafferty piece on McGeough’s party show their ignorance, bigotry and hatred of all things Protestant. Itsjustmacker–not his real name–welcomes the release of Gerry the hero and then goes on to say that in the case of a Loyalist who is on trial at present for a killing dating back 40 years, because the judge declares that some fingerprint evidence is only circumstantial, the system is loaded against republicans!! Marty–this may be his real name–eloquently describes the loyalist currently on trial as ” a fucking bigoted murdering bastard” and continues by offering an open threat–”I hope we meet up some day”. Both of these regular contributors to TPQ are seriously deluded to think that the HET campaign is a one way system directed at republicans. I dont think these two actually believe that which leads me to think that their comments are spurred by naked sectarianism. I dont attach any blame to Anthony McIntyre here as he has the right to allow any comments he likes. But I would be interested to hear his own views on the comments and more importantly on the HET. Does he feel that it is okay for Loyalists to be hounded for 40 year old cases but that republicans shouldn’t. Strangely the HET issue is one that hasn’t attracted too much comment from republicans–no matter what branch they now represent.