We have witnessed the coalition of scumbagery and sectarianism on our streets. Two main questions arise from the riot in Dublin of two weeks ago.
Are we so close to anarchy on any given day in Dublin that a section of our people will abandon any pretense of civilisation to grap the opportunity to engage in wanton looting?
I have to say that I am profoundly shocked by this aspect of the riot. I can hardly believe it.
And secondly: is the republicanism that the vast majority of us agree upon just a smoke screen for anti-protestant sectarianism amongst many?
Many of the comments of the rioters as reported in the press shows that there is a sectarianism here to match that of Belfast or Glasgow. That too is profoundly shocking.
Some apoligists for the riot put forward the view that a Union Jack being paraded in front of the GPO was more than a peaceful republican could bear. This is nonsense.
The right to march can’t be restricted to those who agree with us. Moreover, this sentiment is downright partitionist. It’s OK for the loyalists to march in Belfast but not in Dublin? What kind of republicanism believes that there should be different standards north and south?
If we are to move towards an agreed Ireland, never mind a united Ireland, we are going to have to find space for the loyalist tradition, which was very strong in this city. At some point people who believe they are British are going to have to be able to express themselves on the streets of Dublin.
Now we have a situation where a march has been allowed only to have been chased out of the city by a bunch of scumbags. They have disgraced us all.
We’ll have to think about this again. The Love Ulster rabble were the worst lot to attempt to carry the Union Jack in Dublin. They represent an extreme element of loyalism which certainly didn’t plan its parade in the spirit of reconciliation.
But we have other pro-British organisations in Dublin which would display their opinions and allegiances if they could. They don’t because of fear and that is a disgrace to everything Irish Republicanism stands for.
Finally the question of who is in charge of Dublin’s streets arises. Parts of our city were ceded to a sectarian mob. This should never ever happen again not even for an hour.
The poison of Celtic
I had occasion a few years back to pay a visit to a Celtic match in Glasgow.
What I witnessed convinced me that a large part of the ‘Old Firm” thing is pure sectarianism.
The tribalism of soccer supporters, where grown up people can’t be expected to behave themselves decently while watching a football match, is upped with the addition of Irish bitterness and sectarianism.
There may be lots of people who follow Celtic for the football but the tribalism plays a large part. It’s kinda fun.
But it’s not funny when this ‘Old Firm’ system fuels hatred, violence and aggression in Glasgow and Belfast.
By the number of Celtic jerseys on show during the riot, it shows that the Old Firm plays its part in keeping the poison bubbling here too.