Catch 22


“They muddy the water, to make it seem deep”. Friedrich Nietzsche 


SJ Cooper phototuv

Cllr. Stephen Cooper
Traditional Unionist Voice


king billy

Parading in NI has become a contentious issue, thanks to the deliberate setting up of resident groups by Sinn Fein in the nineties. Intentional as it is, the continuing friction through each and every summer is a key component of the Sinn Fein strategy to harness the resentment inherent in republican areas to maintain their core electoral support and appear to be standing up to ‘them uns.’

parades commission

The refusal to countenance any sort of compromise from their quarters, exacerbates relations further between the residents of Ardoyne and the wider CNR community, and the bands and loyal orders who live alongside, despite the fact that the latter have taken the Parades Commissions deliberations on the chin and complied with decisions made by this unelected and discredited body.

patricks day

To place this in context, it is important to understand the perpetual onslaught against my community from the same quarter who are hell bent on opposing dignified and respectful processions with no prospect of tolerance or indeed fulfilling their promises of creating shared space. It sets a very dangerous precedent that the main arterial route which runs past, not through Ardoyne, is subject to control and influence by violent protestors who resort to opening up with automatic gunfire on Police lines to get their way, and is presently accepted as an appropriate benchmark to measure the validity of any application from the loyal orders.

This plainly infers that NI is perilously sinking further into the morass of terrorist dictatorship.
patricks riot
Republican representatives have appeared on tv in recent weeks and have stated clearly that if parades are permitted to pass somewhere where republicans don’t approve of, they will bring thousands onto the streets.
This inherent threat is a backward step and a terrible example of the bitterness and intolerance within their community, and provides an accurate measure of the hatred simmering within their ranks to anything outside their preferred way of life.

My community have been subjected to a cowardly and dastardly campaign for decades from those within the CNR community who have steadfastly refused to accept the democratic wishes of the majority of people in NI and who instead resorted to their infamous and regrettable ballot box and armalite policy.


The Belfast Agreement, foisted upon a weary Unionist electorate, with excessive propaganda and emotional blackmail utilised to maximise the promise of ‘peace in our time’ has failed miserably, due to the sectarian nature of the carve up of the underlying legislation which underpinned the accord.

Of course, it is imperative that there is cognisance of the fact that the BA is not a resolution, it is simply a transitional phase demanded by Sinn Fein in return for an all-Ireland dynamic built into the minutiae of the Assembly structures and overreaching cross border bodies and associated strata of governance, in return for a bomb free London and an end to economic damage through their futile campaign.

At present the threat of that same violence still evidently brings results.

This is not the example I want for the next generation, nor is it positive that the commanders of Sinn Fein sit in government of the place they want to destroy, coupled with the youth of today looking up to the criminals who wreaked havoc and brought destruction to our cities and towns throughout NI, and killed thousands in the process.

Learning to respect each others identity is crucial to creating some sense of a normal society, superficial as it may be.


My community are expected to tolerate the sight of foreign tricolours on Paddy’s day, the GAA having stadiums, trophies and even clubs named after republican terrorists, and we don’t bring thousands onto the street because we are offended.

The catch 22 situation we find ourselves in is down to the reason I outlined at the outset, namely that Sinn Fein need this disruption to retain the electoral support they regrettably attract. There is not a chance of republicans conceding anything anywhere, as their leadership cannot and will not even consider any softening of their entrenched position, nor are they capable of reaching out their hands, bloodied as they are, to their Unionist and law abiding neighbours.

Until such times that we can break down the barriers built up by Sinn Fein, an organisation who has the destruction of NI as its core objective, then there really is no chance of a shared future.

gerry adams

How can my community believe the lying cowards of Sinn Fein after their past and present behaviour? How can I advocate to my electorate a policy of building a NI in tandem with individuals who want to destroy our country? How can I agree to trust terrorists who have yet to even apologise for the thousands of murders? How can anyone take seriously the claims from their president that he was never in the IRA?

In short, republicans have a lot to do to convince myself and my electorate that they are genuine, as they exhibit only negativity and constantly resort to their slanted and untrue narrative of the violence they were predominately responsible for, without any thought for the victims and those who are still suffering from their mass genocide.

Until we have law and order re-instated in NI, then society will forever be influenced and controlled by those who can threaten the highest level of violence.


Is this really the shared future we want for the next generation?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Catch 22

  1. Peter Breheny says:

    As an outsider interesed in Northern Ireland. I read your comments with great interest and sadness. Your article is a typical example of what those living outside Northern Ireland have come to expect from both sides in Northern Ireland. It is my opinion that parading should be stopped by both sides. Please explain to me why you won’t consider my suggestion?

  2. Dominic Bryan says:

    I need to correct a simple point of fact. Parading did not become a contentious issue with the setting up of residents groups. It has been contentious at different points right through the nineteenth and twentieth century. For example in 1935 rioting was so severe that the then Home Secretary banned parades for a short amount of time. Parades (civil rights and and loyal order) were centre stage from 1967-1972 when the contemporary conflict developed. Indeed in 1971 John Taylor chaired a Stormont Working Party on processions recommended ‘Orange Parades not to be allowed to process along Grosvenor, Springfield or Crumlin Roads, or along part of the Antrim Road between Carlisle Circus and Duncairne Gardens.’ Between 1968-1970 the RUC identified 85 events where there was contestation. This total should be seen against the figures given in June 1970 when the Home Affairs Minister identified a total of 1,342 loyal order parades in Northern Ireland (interestingly many less than today). In 1985 and 1986 there was serious rioting in Portadown over parades (indeed I think the first Protestant killed by a baton round was Keith White on 1st April 1986). There had been contentious parades in county Down in the years previous and if you read the autobiography of Chief Constable Jack Hermon about parades in the 1980s he is convinced that the loyal orders need to change some of their parading practices (p.171). I could go on. All of this was before residents groups and the Parades Commission. If we are going to have this debate it should take place around a full understanding of the context of parades over many years.

  3. Luke says:

    Luckily for you there will always be a small number of un-educated fools who will swallow such a diatribe, so many of your points are so easily picked apart it is truly laughable, I will however not waste the energy as it would be a pointless exercise, without ignorance and assumptions of supremacy your ideology could not survive, but what I will say is this, and as it is only 1 question it should not be too much trouble to answer, if and AOH or 1916 commemoration parade were to march through twaddle avenue to get to Milltown cemetery how would you and “your community” react? everyone has the right to march as much as they have the right to smoke a cigarette, just not beside a petrol pump.

  4. Stephen Cooper says:

    Peter, the central point is, why should we be prevented from expressing our culture at the behest of violent and intolerant individuals, or groups? If we are to have a shared future, then tolerance must be afforded to my community from republicans who still remain wedded to violence and threats.
    Your viewpoint is at odds with not just myself, but also the ECHR, which affords the right to free assembly.
    Dominic, the article is set in present circumstances and is citing the exacerbation of the issue due to resident groups and the deliberate strategy admitted to by Adams in Athlone in the 90′s.
    Luke, a poor attempt at a retort, made all the worse by your futile analogy involving a parade which go THROUGH Twaddell. If you re-read my article, I state clearly that the parade in contention marches PAST, not THROUGH Ardoyne.
    Also, any parade that would have to pass through a loyalist area to get to Milltown would be at best, ‘geographically challenged.’

  5. Stephen Cooper says:

    *correction, ‘would go through Twaddell’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>