Made me think he was attacked in the jungles of Borneo rather than heckled and ‘jostled’ as was reported by other media groups.
Sure, once again, Loyalism will receive negative press due to the actions of some people who have just had enough of the double standards and hypocrisy shown by Sinn Fein.
But I think people should just keep an eye out to see how Mairtin genuinely reaches out to the PUL community. He has stated, ‘I want to be the first citizen for all the people’. Remember wee Niall, his first outing was also to the Shankill to show how he was reaching out the hand of friendship. That was of course before he was asked to present a Duke of Edinburgh award to a child.
Allow me to point out some statements made by Mairtin after yesterday’s incident. He has stated, ‘I was invited to go to the Shankill…therefore I was discharging my obligations as Lord Mayor’. ‘…I’m determined I will discharge my duties as first citizen fairly…’
He has also said, ‘If violent protest and thugs were to decide where the first citizen goes and where he doesn’t it wouldn’t be a city worth living in’. These are all very commendable statements by Mairtin. But after hearing the statements from the DUP it made me wonder just what are Mairtin’s intentions?
Was he really reaching out to discharge his duties as first citizen? Or, as some suspect is he just playing another card for Sinn Fein in the show all Loyalists as thugs and Republicans as peace loving victim’s game?
The DUP have stated, ‘we were aware that having him participate in any official capacity would be an affront to many within our community and recommended that this duty be deputised to another council representative…clearly the Lord Mayor chose not to listen to that advice’.
They went on, ‘we expressed the view that it would be totally inappropriate for the Lord Mayor, as a member of Sinn Fein, a party which talks of a shared future but by their actions has shown nothing but contempt for the culture, history and traditions of our community to officiate at the public reopening of Woodvale Park’.
I would ask the readers of LongKeshinsideout to keep this in mind over the coming months.
This whole situation made me think of another possible scenario in the near future; Remembrance Sunday.
On this occasion Mairtin was told by the DUP he would not be welcome. I think he would be welcome to remember the sacrifice made by the British army and other armies on Remembrance Sunday and to wear a poppy to demonstrate this.
On this occasion, Mairtin was determined to do his duty as first citizen, he wasn’t going to be put off by ‘violent protest and thugs’, he wants to be the first citizen of ‘all the people’ because a city where ‘thugs’ and ‘violent protest’ determine where the first citizen goes ‘wouldn’t be a city worth living in’. On Remembrance Sunday will Mairtin be put off by the threats from Sinn Fein supporters and armed republican groups or will he be at the Cenotaph to remember the fallen?
On this occasion Mairtin ignored the advice from the DUP to have this duty ‘deputised to another council representative’. On Remembrance Sunday will Mairtin step up to the mark and attend the solemn ceremony to remember the dead and wounded or will he bottle it and send another council representative?
Yesterday Mairtin went to Woodvale Park, he had been told he wouldn’t be welcome, he was told it could cause trouble, he was asked to send a deputy but because he is so determined to be first citizen for everyone, to ensure Belfast is a city worth living in, he went ahead.
I for one will watch with interest to see what he will do and say come Remembrance Sunday.
Or, come November 12th will Mairtin be scouring propertynews to relocate to another city which is worth living in…look out Lisburn!!