My da’s cousin, a Catholic guilty of no crime, was killed by UDA (legal until 1992) with state collusion in 1991.

while Catholics still experience higher poverty/arrest rates, but Mick from Cork tells us the sectarian state was dismantled by mid-1970s.🙃

“The reality is that from the mid-1970s the conflict was primarily about the IRA’s attempt to violently impose a 32 county socialist Republic on the island. The sectarian state had been dismantled by then.”

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) flags prompt feud fear

Billy Wright leader of the Loyaist Ulster Volunteer Force the (LVF)

FEARS are growing of another loyalist feud erupting in a Co Antrim town. Tensions are running high after the recent erection of LVF flags in Ballymena.

The flags have been put up on lampposts in the Doury Road estate, an area regarded locally as a UDA stronghold. The LVF flags were put up in the Camberwell Way part of the estate. The move is being blamed on an LVF faction who recently moved from Co Antrim. “They are blow ins,” revealed our source. “Whether they moved of their own free will or where put out no one knows. “But there is no way the UDA will put up with that.


“Doury Road has always been an area with big support for the UDA.” There are fears that the actions will antagonise UDA members into action. “It is only a small group but I’ve been told more are expected to arrive from Antrim,” added our source. “Hopefully nothing kicks off but people with authority in the organisation are monitoring the situation closely.”

There has been no love lost between the rival paramilitary organisations over the years. The LVF built up a strong affiliation with Johnny Adair’s Shankill Road UFF unit. And it was the unveiling of an LVF flag outside a bar during a show of strength which sparked the vicious feud which ultimately led to Adair’s exile. Now there are fears that Ballymena could be about to become the centre of another violent loyalist dispute.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the original story.

Council’s erection of Irish language street signs ‘an attempt to divide harmonious communities’ says UUP representative

Ulster Unionist Slieve Croon Councillor Alan Lewis said two dual language signs placed on the Nutgrove Rd at Annadorn were ‘utterly ridiculous’.

A UUP councillor has described the erection of bi-lingual street signs near Downpatrick have annoyed residents and is “an attempt to divide communities who otherwise live in harmony”.

Slieve Croob Councillor Alan Lewis branded two dual language signs on the Nutgrove Road at Annadorn, east of Downpatrick, as “utterly ridiculous”.

UUP representative Alan Lewis seems to be backing the UDA who are intent on attacking our Irish heritage/culture and language

He added: “I understand why people wish to speak Irish, I’ve nothing against any person or group who wish to further their understanding of Irish Language through cultural activities but there is absolutely no need for road signs randomly doted across the countryside effectively marking out territory”.

Ulster Defence Association (UDA)

“It’s unnecessary territory marking tribalism. Most right-thinking residents are rightly annoyed. This is an attempt to divide communities who otherwise live in harmony, I do not understand why one side is determined to force Irish down the throat of their unionist neighbours”.

UDA orchestrated campaign against anything Irish including road signs our language and our culture

He also queried why Irish had been placed at the top of the sign with the English “downgraded” below.

“RESPECT THE IRISH LANGUAGE” – Linda Ervine: Image copyright Slugger O’Toole

This would lead one to ask the point of the design, he said.

“A car going at normal speed would read the Irish before they read the actual road name.”


He added: “The impression given by some supporters of the Irish Language lobby is of a language that has been forced underground, denied rights, oppressed and starved of funding. Figures contained within the Flags, Identity, Culture & Tradition (FICT) commission demonstrate that the facts simply do not bear out the repeated claims of discrimination, many people will be amazed to learn that £190m has been spent on the Irish Language in Northern Ireland in just over 7 years, Nobody is prevented from learning and speaking Irish, it is well provided for in terms of public funding. I do not believe there is the need for an Irish language act but that does not mean we do not support the language community.”

Part of the jointly orchestrated Loyalist campaign by the UDA/UVF against the Irish Language Act

“Given the regular painting out of Irish language signs in mainly unionist areas where the language is not spoken or understood, and where it is seen as political, it is very clear that adverse equality and good relations implications should have been anticipated.”


“I reiterate that I’ve Nothing against Irish or those who wish to speak it however it his continued obsession with dual language signs is furthering and reinforcing a negative image of the Language across our district.”

Mr Lewis said that most people living on the road would be nationalist but that the wider area would be mainly unionist.

“This is just marking out territory,” he added.

He also queried the level of ratepayer expenditure by the council on such signs.

But Sinn Fein MLA Sinéad Ennis described his concerns as “utter nonsense”.

She added: “The Irish language is for everyone in society and it doesn’t belong to any one section of the community.

“Sinn Féin would like to point out to Councillor Lewis that a car cannot read road signs at normal or any other speed.”

Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge said it was important to “unlock” the Irish language across the country.

“The Irish language is all around us, it is to be found in our places names and indeed in our surnames,” he said. “95% of placenames here come directly from Irish. That shared history needs to be unlocked and promoted.

“Visibility of that common heritage is hugely important for minoritised indigenous languages. That is a concept supported worldwide, and indeed by the council of Europe who oversee the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.

“The British Government ratified that Charter in 2001 and local councils have duties according to that treaty. If we are sincere about a truly shared society then the Irish language has to be recognised as a central part of our past, present and future. The days of Irish being unheard and unseen must end. That exclusion has gone on for far too long. From Sliabh Crúibe (Slieve Croob), to Áth na nDorn (Annadorn), the language is all around us, and belongs to us all.”

Daniel Holder, Deputy Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice, contacted the News Letter to say that Conradh na Gaeilge had suggested it also forward comment on the matter.

Mr Holder said that no human rights are breached by having to look at Irish language signs.

“The suggestion that community ‘harmony’ can only be maintained by an ‘English-only’ policy of blanket exclusion of the Irish language from public space is alarming,” he told the News Letter. “Nobody’s human rights are being breached by having to look at Irish (or English) on a street sign. Both the Belfast Agreement and the human rights treaties the UK signed at the same time commit to ‘respect, understanding and tolerance’ for the Irish language, we are still clearly some distance from that.”

SDLP Slieve Croob councillor Hugh Gallagher described Mr Lewis’ comments as “disappointing rhetoric” and called for legal protection for the Irish language.

He added: “Nobody has anything to fear from the Irish language. It belongs to everyone. This outdated narrative, and indeed the increase in vandalism of Irish language signs, are another reason why we must ensure legal protection for the Irish language in legislation. Residents were contacted and asked to voice any objections before the signs were put up and there was broad support from the local community for the Irish signs.”

Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the SDLP have been approached for comment.

With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter and Philip Bradfield for the original story 

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