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NO QUEEN HERE!

By David Vance On August 2nd, 2019

In a way it almost amuses me. I am talking about the revelation that all portraits of Her Majesty the Queen have been removed from Her Majesty’s Northern Ireland Office of Government in Belfast! Yes, in the crazy world of pandering to those who can never be pandered to adequately enough, this news has caused some consternation. One of the triggers for this remarkably outrageous action was this story;

“A senior Northern Ireland civil servant was paid £10,000 in compensation because he was offended at having to walk past portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, it has emerged. His complaints led to the portraits being removed at his request, and replaced by a picture of the Queen meeting Martin McGuinness, the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and ex-IRA leader. Lee Hegarty, who is currently in charge of the Northern Irish Parades Commission, (My italics) claimed that under human rights laws it was unfair to him to have to work in a place where he was offended by such portraits.”

The correct response to Mr Hegarty’s complaint would have been to sack him. He was working for the State. The Head of this British State is Her Majesty the Queen! Yes, he may have been offended to be reminded of this inconvenient truth, but so what? No one forced him to work for it!

124 Responses to “NO QUEEN HERE!”

  1. Not only would your response not be correct it would also be highly illegal.

  2. Madness he got £10,000!

    But, do I have Deja Vu, or was this not covered before?!?

  3. Well said, DV. The quislings who aided this Hegarty ought to get the chop too.

  4. You think law means anything where outrage is concerned Seamus?

    I think S.75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 would disagree with David on this one:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/47/section/75

  5. “A senior Northern Ireland civil servant was paid £10,000 in compensation because he was offended at having to walk past portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, it has emerged

    He should have been forced to pay £10,000 to the state for bringing such the ultimate frivolous lawsuit.

  6. ole willy was right…. we’ll do it tonight….

  7. A senior Northern Ireland civil servant was paid £10,000 in compensation

    It’s my understanding that that’s the claim made by Ken Magennis in the British HoL and has yet to be independently verified Phantom but yes, if true it should have immediately been dismissed by the tribunal.

  8. Why do they need portraits of the Queen anyway?

    I have managed to survive in my career so far without ever having worked in an office with a portrait of a head of state hanging on the wall.

  9. If he was paid the £10,000 I would imagine that might have been for wider discrimination issues other than just the “trauma” of walking past portraits of the Queen. If that is the only reason and the story of the payout is true then iris absurd. The Belfast Agreement acknowledges rightly the equal national Irish identity and rigorously applied equality laws are correct. However that same agreement also acknowledges that currently N.I. Is part of the U.K. and as such , official portraits of the head of state in government depts, are entirely appropriate and not a legitimate cause of grievance for any employee regardless of national identity.

  10. “However that same agreement also acknowledges that currently N.I. Is part of the U.K. and as such , official portraits of the head of state in government depts, are entirely appropriate and not a legitimate cause of grievance for any employee regardless of national identity.”

    Not true. All employers, and that includes the Northern Ireland Office, have a duty to:

    promote a good and harmonious working environment and atmosphere in which no worker feels under threat or intimidated because of his or her religious belief or political opinion e.g. prohibit the display of flags, emblems, posters, graffiti, or the circulation of materials, or the deliberate articulation of slogans or songs, which are likely to give offence or cause apprehension among particular groups of employees.

    In addition the Northern Ireland Equality Commission noted that in their “experience in past cases, the issue of a royal portrait in the workplace has often been accompanied by wider harassment allegations and workplace tensions”.

  11. ‘Thank you for coming Mr Hegarty, your compensation is inside this briefcase.’

    Mr Hegarty clicks open the briefcase and swoons into a coma.

    ‘Oh, yeah… 2,000 £5 notes with Her Majesty’s picture may not have been the best idea.’

    I’d recommend the above, but he’d probably claim £1m in compo.

  12. Why do they need portraits of the Queen anyway?

    Are you sure you live(d) in the wee six Fews? Have you not been paying attention?

    However that same agreement also acknowledges that currently N.I. Is part of the U.K. and as such , official portraits of the head of state in government depts, are entirely appropriate and not a legitimate cause of grievance for any employee regardless of national identity.

    If only things were so cut & dried Colm. The Fair Employment Code of Practice as per the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 :

    You should promote a good and harmonious working environment and atmosphere in which no worker feels under threat or intimidated because of his or her religious belief or political opinion,
    e.g. prohibit the display of flags, emblems, posters… [etc]…, which are likely to give offence or cause apprehension among particular groups of employees

    https://www.equalityni.org/ECNI/media/ECNI/Publications/Employers%20and%20Service%20Providers/FECodeofPractice@09-07.pdf

  13. The queen didn’t oppress anyone.

    Her image oppresses no one either.

    If someone pretends to be offended at a display of her image, it’s just that. Mock offense, just to cause trouble for the sake of causing trouble.

  14. Apologies, Seamus got in before me above.

  15. The Queen didn’t oppress anyone

    As Commander In Cheif of the Parachute Regiment would a Prince Chrles portrait be appropriate in a civil service office in Derry?

  16. According to the Irish News article, the portrait was apparently the only thing justifying the compo.

    // “experience in past cases, the issue of a royal portrait in the workplace has often been accompanied by wider harassment allegations and workplace tensions”.//

    Perhaps, but that’s nothing to do with the royal portrait. Let them tackle the issue of workplace tensions and their cause separately. Anyone who gets excited about a photo of a (fully clothed) woman in the workplace is a neurotic.

    BTW When Sinn Fein leaders meet Queen Elizabeth, what capacity do they recognise her and want to meet her in? Surely not just some old woman who normally lives in London.

  17. The correct response to Mr Hegarty’s complaint would have been to sack him.

    Yes David, but he would have won much more than £10,000 at the subsequent employment tribunal, and given the Shinners yet another cause to rally around.

    Anyway, I’m sure the claimant will donate his winnings to charity.

  18. “The queen didn’t oppress anyone.”

    Her armed forces did. Her government did. Her “loyal” subjects did. To one gets to pin a medal on Derek Wilford and award him an honour and then pretend they are a benign influence.

    “BTW When Sinn Fein leaders meet Queen Elizabeth, what capacity do they recognise her and want to meet her in? Surely not just some old woman who normally lives in London.”

    They are meeting her as they see it as the Head of State of a foreign country, probably in the same manner that Unionist leaders meet Micky D.

  19. Noel, dod you have a link to the IN article? I can’t find it on line.

    The closest comparable local article I can find is this:

    A senior civil servant in the Northern Ireland office was paid £10,000 in compensation because he was offended at having to walk past portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, a peer has told the House of Lords

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/10k-for-northern-ireland-civil-servant-offended-by-portraits-of-queen-and-philip-peer-tells-lords-38305709.html

    I can’t find any verification of the payment past Ken Magennisses’ claim in the HoL.

  20. No need for pictures of the Queen of England cluttering up Belfast. Time to drain the swamp.

    On the other hand – suing and getting 10k because he was “offended”? Cop on.

  21. Most likely it was not £10k because of pictures of the Queen. Most likely it was a culture of harassment and intimidation that involved, but was not limited to, pictures of the Queen. And there was then a root and branch review that got rid of all of it.

  22. The story is linked to in David’s post at “was this story”.

    There’s no mention of any reason for this lad feeling offended other than the picture.

  23. There was a shop on the corner of Dame St and George’s St that for years had a hideous picture of Mary Robinson in the window.

    I was offended by it every time I saw it. Never sued once…

  24. Ah, the Irish Indo.

    I still can’t see any independent verification of the payment barring Ken’s claims. If it’s true and Mr Hegarty got thousands in compensation purely on the grounds of the portrait it should have immediately been dismissed by the tribunal.

  25. If the portrait of the Queen in her intimidating imperial regalia is offensive to this civil servant perhaps the regalia should be removed and a lovely portrait of the 93 year old Monarch in all her wrinkled naked glory be substituted instead. I’m sure the gentleman in question would find that far more comforting to walk past every day 😱

  26. Some US buildings I think will have a photo of the president on the wall.

    Maybe some professional complainer can file ten lawsuits about that.

  27. Are you suggesting the relationship between the United States (and the US President) and say New York is in any way comparable to the relationship between the United Kingdom (and the Queen) and Northern Ireland?

  28. I think that the queen is a better person in every possible way that they psychotic crack-head on Pennsylvania Avenue

  29. Did Donald Trump pin a medal on Derek Wilford a few months after his soldiers executed 14 civil rights protesters?

  30. Apples and oranges comparison Phantom.

    As Commander In Cheif of the Parachute Regiment would a Prince Chrles portrait be appropriate in a civil service office in Derry?

    Yes or no?

  31. //Did Donald Trump pin a medal on Derek Wilford a few months after his soldiers executed 14 civil rights protesters?//

    No, but a better comparision would be whether someone could claim for damages about a portrait of Trump in a state office in Charlottesville.

  32. Remember: everyone’s a victim.

    I will sue everyone here for £10,000, and will ask for punitive and exemplary damages above that.

    There’s not legitimate cause for complaint, but that’s no excuse in a jackpot justice culture.

  33. This isn’t about the money. It is about creating a situation in Northern Ireland where everyone is treated equally. Where British symbols are not given greater status than Irish symbols.

    This is legitimate cause for complaint, and, judging from the comments from the Equality Commission, was combined with other issues as well.

  34. When they say ” it isn’t about the money “, its about the money.

  35. They haven’t said anything. The civil servant at the centre of this has made no statement (and the whole story hasn’t been confirmed or denied by anyone).

  36. There’s not legitimate cause for complaint, but that’s no excuse in a jackpot justice culture

    Has anyone here expressed approval at the alleged financial award?

    In the absence of comment regarding Prince Charles portrait being appros in a Derry civil service office I’ll assume your answer is no.

  37. Recuerdo
    BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
    We were very tired, we were very merry—
    We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
    It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
    But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
    We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
    And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

    We were very tired, we were very merry—
    We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
    And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
    From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
    And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
    And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

    We were very tired, we were very merry,
    We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
    We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
    And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
    And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
    And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

  38. If the media stories are true, this is really absurd. If the portrait offends him, why does he work there rather than someplace else. The employment law needs to be revamped and the Equality Commission gotten rid of. This is due to the Good Friday Fudge that people in NI can be either British or Irish. That is just illogical. If you reside in NI you are living in a British jurisdiction and are British, no matter what you think you are. If you live in Dublin you are in the Irish jurisdiction and Irish, no matter what you think you are. The Good Friday Fudge has caused numerous problems and one effect is people confused about their identity. Where else do people moan on about their identity? Such great concern about identify signifies underlying psychological problems.

  39. Utterly ridiculous comment New Yorker. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the protocols of the GFA that recognise and respect both British and Irish identities and strives through the equality commission to give authorative effect and support to that recognition. Nobody is confused at all by their identity. But then again you know that. Your comment about it causing psychological problems is just designed to be provocative. You don’t even really believe such nonsense yourself.

  40. NYr has cut through the bull as only he can and has provided much needed clarity on two points.

    1) Nowhere else in the 21st century is any group obsessed with identity. Identity politics only exists in NI.

    2) Never mind the Belfast Agreement, Irish people from Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland need to get with the programme and realise they are actually Britishers…innit.

  41. MourneReg

    You’ve convinced me. You found the two golden nuggets in NYs pile of dung 😉

  42. ” If the portrait offends him, why does he work there rather than someplace else.”

    Damn equality law. If that black guy doesn’t want to be called a nigger on a daily basis why doesn’t he just work somewhere else?

  43. Colm

    “There is absolutely nothing wrong with the protocols of the GFA that recognise and respect both British and Irish identities and strives through the equality commission to give authorative effect and support to that recognition.” It is illogical. By that logic if a court in NI orders someone to do something they can say it is a British court, I am offended and therefore the court order does not apply to me. You cannot run a polity in which residents can opt out if they wish. The Good Friday Fudge allows people to think they can opt out due to identity. Are those claiming Irish identity in NI citizens of the UK or the ROI?

  44. Seamus

    Hegarty voluntarily took a job where he knew he was likely to be offended. He should have taken a job where it was unlikely he would be offended. A black person called a nigger every day at his job would seek employment elsewhere. Wouldn’t you or are you implying the black person is too stupid to do so?

  45. “A black person called a nigger every day at his job would seek employment elsewhere.”

    Are you saying a black man being called nigger every day should be forced to seek employment elsewhere, and shouldn’t be allowed to seek redress and force his abusers from calling him nigger every day?

    “He should have taken a job where it was unlikely he would be offended. “

    Why?

    “By that logic if a court in NI orders someone to do something they can say it is a British court, I am offended and therefore the court order does not apply to me.”

    They could say that but it would be irrelevant as such an action would be illegal. No one is opting out. What this case is about is the presence of symbols related to one community. And the request, endorsed by law, that workplaces be neutral working environments.

  46. “Are those claiming Irish identity in NI citizens of the UK or the ROI?”

    Both. And we aren’t claiming Irish identity. We are Irish.

  47. New Yorker

    When you can provide evidence that the GFA allows Nationalists to refuse to recognise the authority of the UK justice system in N.I. then you can claim some validity for your arguments.

    The comparisons about the black person abused racially each day and the civil servant walking past a portrait of the Head of State are ridiculous chalk and cheese nonsense.

  48. “The comparisons about the black person abused racially each day and the civil servant walking past a portrait of the Head of State are ridiculous chalk and cheese nonsense.”

    They aren’t. New Yorker claims that if a person is being harassed in work (which is the most likely reason behind this case – per the Equality Commission) that they should just leave their job and work somewhere else. I went for the most extreme version of that to show New Yorker’s stupidity.

  49. Seamus

    I wasn’t agreeing with NYs views or his equally wrong views that the black employee should just leave his job as a way of dealing with racial abuse. I was referring in general to the comparison that the civil servant’s sense of offense at walking past this portrait is similar to a victim of daily racial abuse.

    In my first comment on this story I did allude to the view that if there had been a compensation payment it probably related to a lot more than just the issue of this portrait which was probably a minor mention in the story which had been highlighted disproportionally.

  50. Seamus

    “Are you saying a black man being called nigger every day should be forced to seek employment elsewhere, and shouldn’t be allowed to seek redress and force his abusers from calling him nigger every day?” Yes. He is not being forced as he chose to work elsewhere. What kind of abuse is he suffering by being called an ugly name? If someone at work calls you a bollix are you going to take him to court?

    “Both. And we aren’t claiming Irish identity. We are Irish.” What laws does the Irish person in NI follow – UK or ROI?

  51. “In my first comment on this story I did allude to the view that if there had been a compensation payment it probably related to a lot more than just the issue of this portrait which was probably a minor mention in the story which had been highlighted disproportionally.”

    Indeed. The source is Ken Maginnis who is not exactly the most impartial of sources.

    Most likely the civil servant involved has been subjected to sectarian abuse, some of which has involved in the portrait of the Queen (people chanting God Save the Queen at him when he walks past it or something of that nature). And the review has likely decided to get rid of anything that was even tangentially involved.

  52. “Yes. He is not being forced as he chose to work elsewhere. What kind of abuse is he suffering by being called an ugly name? If someone at work calls you a bollix are you going to take him to court?”

    No because being called a bollocks isn’t subjecting me to discrimination on the basis of identity, skin colour, religion etc…. If someone called me a Fenian bollocks at work then you better bet I would take them to court.

    “What laws does the Irish person in NI follow – UK or ROI?”

    And that matters to citizenship in what way? If a French person lives in the UK do they follow UK law or French law? And if they follow UK law does that mean they are no longer a French citizen?

    Also UK law states that an employer in Northern Ireland has a duty to:

    promote a good and harmonious working environment and atmosphere in which no worker feels under threat or intimidated because of his or her religious belief or political opinion e.g. prohibit the display of flags, emblems, posters, graffiti, or the circulation of materials, or the deliberate articulation of slogans or songs, which are likely to give offence or cause apprehension among particular groups of employees.

  53. “Yes. He is not being forced as he chose to work elsewhere.”

    Have you ever heard of constructive dismissal? It has been established, by UK law, that if a person leaves his job, even voluntarily, a result of the employer creating or tolerating a hostile work environment then that person has been fired. So in the case of the black man being racially abused – if his employer doesn’t prevent it and that person leaves their job the effect in law is that they have been fired for being black.

  54. Seamus

    From above: “What kind of abuse is he suffering by being called an ugly name?”

    “No because being called a bollocks isn’t subjecting me to discrimination on the basis of identity, skin colour, religion etc…. If someone called me a Fenian bollocks at work then you better bet I would take them to court.” You seem to be a the thin skinned sort. Have you taken many cases to court? This type of thing can spiral into a legal nightmare. The courts should be for serious issues and not vanity gripes of the thin skinned.

    “And that matters to citizenship in what way?” It matters because citizens have rights and obligations. Hegarty claims to be Irish, why should he be covered by British law if he is not a citizen but a ‘visitor’?

  55. Seamus

    “Have you ever heard of constructive dismissal?” Pursuit of creating the perfect workplace will stifle economic activity. Don’t complain if your economy slows to a snails pace.

  56. “You seem to be a the thin skinned sort.”

    No I don’t. You seem to think that racists, bigots and scumbags should get to dominate the workplace. I think that people should be allowed to work in peace without being abused.

    “Have you taken many cases to court?”

    I haven’t. Thankfully that sort of behaviour has not occurred in the places I have worked. A manager once made an inappropriate comment to me, nearly 15 years ago. It was very quickly pointed out to them by several people that it was not appropriate and they apologised.

    “The courts should be for serious issues and not vanity gripes of the thin skinned.”

    You seem to think that bigots being bigots in the work places is a minor issue.

    ” It matters because citizens have rights and obligations. Hegarty claims to be Irish, why should he be covered by British law if he is not a citizen but a ‘visitor’?”

    Because he is not a visitor. Northern Ireland, hate to break it to you, is not as British as Finchley. People are Irish or British or both. And only bigots, like you, seem to have a problem with that.

  57. “Pursuit of creating the perfect workplace will stifle economic activity. Don’t complain if your economy slows to a snails pace.”

    So banning bigots from being bigots is now economically damaging?

  58. New Yorker

    Are you opposed to anti-discrimination laws ?

  59. I’d be careful about calling people bigots

    NY may be wrong at times But I’ve never seen any evidence of any type of bigotry from him in all this time

  60. Northern Ireland believes that people in Northern Ireland shouldn’t be allowed to be Irish. That is the point of view of a bigot.

  61. *New Yorker believes

  62. He has also called in the last six months for the ethnic cleansing of Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.

  63. I’m not getting into the weeds on this, but I think that his issue is with citizenship, not Irishness. Not the same deal.

    He has condemned the sectarianism there as practiced by the local govt in the past etc

    It’s OK to say that he reaches the wring conclusion without using the b word, Which only serves to shut down all civil conversation

  64. Seamus 335

    I missed that one….

  65. “I’m not getting into the weeds on this, but I think that his issue is with citizenship, not Irishness. Not the same deal.”

    Citizenship causes no additional issues. There is no difference caused by people in the north having additional Irish citizenship (though that may change with Brexit). His issue is with identity, not citizenship.

    “I missed that one….”

    Perhaps such communities should be broken up and the population moved individually to other locations.

    http://www.atangledweb.org/?p=78147

  66. Even NYs views on people not being citizens of an entity but simply visitors or other nationals are wrong. Regardless of whether someone is a citizen of the state they are in, a citizen of another country but resident there or even just a passing through visitor, they all have to obey and recognise the law of the land they are in His opinion that the dual nationality provisions of the GFA undermine the rule of sovereign law in Northern Ireland is nonsense.

  67. Seamus

    “You seem to think that racists, bigots and scumbags should get to dominate the workplace.” What backs up that lubricious statement? How prevalent is such behavior in the workplace in NI in 2019?

    “Northern Ireland, hate to break it to you, is not as British as Finchley.” Legally NI is as British as Finchley. If you believe otherwise you have fallen for the Good Friday Fudge.

    “So banning bigots from being bigots is now economically damaging?” I said trying to create the perfect work place adversely affects economic results. For a change, try dealing with the stated premise and not your twisted interpretation.

    “Because he is not a visitor.” Then what is he?

    “He has also called in the last six months for the ethnic cleansing of Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.” I believe you are referring to something I stated about the community of the murderers of Lyra McKee. My opinion was and still is that the community needs to be broken up. A recent BBC report showed that community is still under control of an IRA wannabe group and people dare not speak. It is in effect a no-go area and all no-go areas should be broken up in my view.

  68. It’s a little preposterous to call an Irish resident of the six counties a visitor

    Come off it

  69. Colm

    In the courts of NI there are photos of royals and symbols of the British state. Do you think a person following Hegarty can say it is an offense to their identity and therefore not recognize the authority of the court? Why would being offended in that instance not be the basis for non-recognition of the court.

    BTW, I am not opposed to anti-discrimination laws but think those of thin skin can abuse them.

  70. New Yorker is Raising ridiculous positions for the sake of argument. He doesn’t even believe his own nonsense.

  71. Phantom

    “It’s a little preposterous to call an Irish resident of the six counties a visitor.” What is his legal status? I don’t know, that is why I asked. What would you call an American spending time in NI? I’d call him a visitor.

  72. Colm

    “New Yorker is Raising ridiculous positions for the sake of argument. He doesn’t even believe his own nonsense.” If you are capable of rebutting those positions, please do so rather than making inane statements.

  73. No New Yorker. The law is the law in any country. Citizen, immigrant, or visitor all must obey it. The GFA agreement doesn’t even hint at the idea that Irish nationalists can refuse to recognise U.K. courts in any circumstances. Your suggestion that such a demand could be made under the GFA is specious and without any merit.

  74. My 4:12pm is all the rebuttal required, unless you can provide evidence otherwise.

  75. “What backs up that lubricious statement? “

    Your statements attacking the very laws that prevent it happening?

    “How prevalent is such behavior in the workplace in NI in 2019?”

    Not very. Because there are laws, that you attack, that make it uncommon.

    “Legally NI is as British as Finchley. If you believe otherwise you have fallen for the Good Friday Fudge.”

    It isn’t actually. Firstly there are laws that are in place in Northern Ireland that aren’t in place in Finchley. Secondly the Good Friday Agreement, that you seem to detest, grants additional rights and responsibilities to people and governments in Northern Ireland that do not apply to Finchley. Thirdly, Finchley is in Britain, Northern Ireland is not.

    ” I said trying to create the perfect work place adversely affects economic results. For a change, try dealing with the stated premise and not your twisted interpretation.”

    You said that in terms of the ban on constructive dismissal. That isn’t an attempt to create the perfect workplace – it is an attempt to ban bigots from the workplace.

    “Then what is he?”

    A resident.

    “I believe you are referring to something I stated about the community of the murderers of Lyra McKee.”

    There is no community of the murderers of Lyra McKee.

    “My opinion was and still is that the community needs to be broken up.”

    Because you are a sectarian bigot.

    “A recent BBC report showed that community is still under control of an IRA wannabe group and people dare not speak. It is in effect a no-go area and all no-go areas should be broken up in my view.”

    I there is a problem in Creggan due to the New IRA it is because a criminal orgainsation has caused fear in the local community. Your response is to attack the local community. It would be like ending domestic violence by murdering all domestic violence victims.

    It would still be an act of ethnic cleansing and would make the issue worse. If the state tries to ethnically cleanse the local community then the only correct response is defensive violence. Which would be carried out by the New IRA. So your final solution to the Irish problem would actually cause more people to support the New IRA, not less.

    “In the courts of NI there are photos of royals and symbols of the British state”

    There aren’t. They were largely removed following the Criminal Justice Review after the Good Friday Agreement.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1418924/Coats-of-arms-removed-from-Ulster-courts.html

  76. An American who spends a week in Belfast is a visitor

    An Irishman resident in Belfast whose family has always lived there is not a visitor

    You might want to pick a better argument

  77. Seamus

    “Your statements attacking the very laws that prevent it happening?” You are using a circular argument to prove your point. Circular arguments are worthless.

    “Not very. Because there are laws, that you attack, that make it uncommon.” It is mostly due to the basic civility of most people not laws.

    “there are laws that are in place in Northern Ireland that aren’t in place in Finchley.” There are local laws suited to individual localities, but overall the legal system in both Finchley and NI is the same. There are laws that apply to Finchley but NI, so what.

    Constructive dismissal is part of trying to create the perfect workplace.

    The continuing problem in Creggan is because that community due to fear or something else will not support the PSNI investigation. How do you propose to solve the Creggan problem? The festering problem is bad for the rest of NI. Do you think there should be no-go areas in NI? Breaking up a problem community is not ethnic cleansing. It is one possible way to address a problem. Ultimately the local community is responsible for the continuing problem. I don’t view it as bigotry, if you do, you are reaching for an excuse to indulge your self in name calling, a juvenile characteristic.

  78. “You are using a circular argument to prove your point. Circular arguments are worthless.”

    Nope. There are laws in place that prevent bigotry in the workplace. You oppose those laws. The simplest explanation would be that you don’t want to prevent bigotry in the workplace.

    ” It is mostly due to the basic civility of most people not laws.”

    It is not. My parents worked in the 1970s and 1980s when those laws were not in place. The sort of incidents I’m describing were common place in those days. They are not common place now. Basic civility hasn’t changed. The law has.

    ” There are local laws suited to individual localities, but overall the legal system in both Finchley and NI is the same.”

    It isn’t. The underlying constitutional position is different. The principle constitutional act in Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland Act which doesn’t apply to Finchley.

    “Constructive dismissal is part of trying to create the perfect workplace.”

    It isn’t. It is about trying to create a basic standard of workplace where people aren’t allowed to be bigots in the workplace.

    “How do you propose to solve the Creggan problem?”

    Target the New IRA. Investigate crime. Not ethnically cleanse people.

    “I don’t view it as bigotry”

    That’s because you’re a bigot. Bigots rarely see themselves as bigots.

    “if you do, you are reaching for an excuse to indulge your self in name calling, a juvenile characteristic.”

    Nope. I call things as I see them. Calling a bigot a bigot isn’t name calling.

  79. Colm

    If people can refuse to work where they are offended by a photo of the queen, why could they not object to a court that is identified as British? That is the logic of the Hegarty case. I think it is due to a misunderstanding of the Good Friday Agreement. One of the major purposes of the GFA was to stop people in NI from killing one another. That is probably why the tricky language about Irish and British identify was included. It causes a confusion between identity and citizenship and some people try to take advantage of the confusion. Ideally everyone resident in NI would consider themselves Northern Irish both in terms of identity and citizenship. But I suppose many people are incapable of doing so at present, I believe at some point they will.

  80. Phantom

    “An Irishman resident in Belfast whose family has always lived there is not a visitor.” What is his legal status?

  81. “If people can refuse to work where they are offended by a photo of the queen, why could they not object to a court that is identified as British?”

    Because the law says that employers must provide neutral working environments. There is no law insisting that the courts do so as well.

  82. Seamus

    Do you know what a circular argument is? Please state your understanding of it.

    Basic civility has changed in NI. I’ve be visiting for many years and notice it. It is a much more civil place for the most part.

    The constitutional position of Finchley and NI are in effect the same. The differences are minuscule and in the great scheme of things of little importance.

    Calling someone who is not a bigot a bigot is not name calling? That statement takes the prize for honesty.

    Apparently you have no solution for the Creggan problem other than sloganeering. The situation calls for some creativity not worn out slogans.

  83. Seamus

    “Because the law says that employers must provide neutral working environments. There is no law insisting that the courts do so as well.” You told us the symbols and photos were removed, why were they removed if not attempting to provide a neutral environment? Why should the courts not be a neutral work environment?

  84. The symbols in the court are not the issue. NY you questioned if defendants could refuse to recognise the authority of the court under equality legislation. That is a completely fictional premise raised by you.

  85. Resident. Native. Citizen of Ireland.

  86. Colm

    If you read and understood what I wrote I am saying it is a possibility as an extension of the logic used in the Hegarty case. That is why I think the Hegarty case needs to be revisited and all the implications considered.

  87. unintended consequences

  88. “Do you know what a circular argument is? Please state your understanding of it.”

    Stop being a sanctimonious wee bastard.

    “Basic civility has changed in NI. I’ve be visiting for many years and notice it. It is a much more civil place for the most part.”

    Because of legal challenge. In the workplace you couldn’t do these things under law. And because of that they became less common place.

    “The constitutional position of Finchley and NI are in effect the same. The differences are minuscule and in the great scheme of things of little importance.”

    So is Jeremy Corbyn the co-equal Prime Minister with Boris Johnson? Because if Finchley had the same constitutional position as Northern Ireland then the leaders of the two largest parties would both be Prime Minister. Are MPs elected via proportional representation? Is there power sharing in Britain?

    “Calling someone who is not a bigot a bigot is not name calling? That statement takes the prize for honesty.”

    Calling someone who is not a bigot a bigot would be name calling. I have not done that. I have called a bigot a bigot.

    “Apparently you have no solution for the Creggan problem other than sloganeering. The situation calls for some creativity not worn out slogans.”

    As opposed to your final solution? Any attempt to enforce your “solution” would be resisted and rightly so. Violently resisted and rightly so.

    “You told us the symbols and photos were removed, why were they removed if not attempting to provide a neutral environment?”

    Because a review ordered them removed. Not the law. The Court system took the decision themselves. It was not required by law.

    “Why should the courts not be a neutral work environment?”

    The courts would have to provide a neutral work environment for their staff, not for anyone else. And in certain ways they have been forced by law to do so. QCs, for example, following legal challenge, do not have to swear an oath of allegiance to the British monarch.

    “If you read and understood what I wrote I am saying it is a possibility as an extension of the logic used in the Hegarty case. “

    It is not an extension of the logic. The Hegarty case was about a workplace dispute. That people are entitled to a neutral working environment, under law. People are not entitled to a neutral environment in other contexts.

  89. Phantom

    “Resident. Native. Citizen of Ireland.” The man is living in Belfast. He is a UK resident and citizen of the UK. He is not living in the Republic of Ireland.

  90. Seamus

    Do you know what a circular argument is or not. Here is an example – x is a bigot because I say he is a bigot therefore he is a bigot.

    You appear insensitive to the power of civility. I am not surprised.

    You will have to elaborate on the Corbyn/Johnson analogy in relation to Finchley/NI. I don’t see it.

    You are fond of labeling people bigots without evidence for the slander. It is a loathsome tactic employed by lowlifes.

    You are tiresome on the Creggan problem. You have nothing to offer on it. But it needs to be dealt with as there may be a spillover effect. Your deficit of creativity is a shame, but commonplace with savants.

    Your statement about QCs confirms the direction of the neutrality nonsense. Since you fail to see the logical extension of the Hegarty case, you cannot see where my position is going. The Hegarty case can be a template for other complaints.

  91. “Do you know what a circular argument is or not. Here is an example – x is a bigot because I say he is a bigot therefore he is a bigot.”

    I do know what a circular argument is. I reject that this is a case of it. Your bigotry has been well shown (including your idea to ethnically cleanse areas of Northern Ireland).

    “You will have to elaborate on the Corbyn/Johnson analogy in relation to Finchley/NI. I don’t see it.”

    The constitutional setup in Northern Ireland is that the leader of the largest party, and the leader of the second largest party, jointly hold the position of head of government. If Northern Ireland was a British as Finchley then that wouldn’t happen. If Finchley’s setup was the same as Northern Ireland then Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn would both be head of government.

    “You are fond of labeling people bigots without evidence for the slander. It is a loathsome tactic employed by lowlifes.”

    There is plenty of evidence including your support for stripping out anti-discrimination legislation, and your support for ethnic cleansing.

    “You are tiresome on the Creggan problem. You have nothing to offer on it. But it needs to be dealt with as there may be a spillover effect. Your deficit of creativity is a shame, but commonplace with savants.”

    You aren’t exactly creative. You just copy Reinhard Heydrich and hope no one notices.

    “Since you fail to see the logical extension of the Hegarty case, you cannot see where my position is going. “

    It isn’t that I fail to see a logical extension. It is that one doesn’t exist.

    “The Hegarty case can be a template for other complaints.”

    Such as? Considering it arrives not from identity and protection of identity but from workplace anti-discrimination laws.

  92. Seamus

    “Your bigotry has been well shown (including your idea to ethnically cleanse areas of Northern Ireland).” No reasonable person would read what I have written and arrive at the conclusion you do. You have only shown your irrationality and blind animus.

    Using the inoperative provincial NI assembly to prove how different NI is from Finchley is senseless. Both places are part of the UK and operate under UK law. Constitutionally there is nothing exceptional about the UK of any consequence.

    There is no evidence of bigotry on my part except in your warped mind. I believe the Hegarty case should be revisited and whatever law enabled it reconsidered. How is that bigotry?

    “You just copy Reinhard Heydrich and hope no one notices.” That is an unhinged statement. I suggested breaking up the Creggan area as a possible solution to the problem there, not murdering millions of people.

    The logical extension is a mental construct. It is a way of considering possible consequences, but that may be out of your league. Nonetheless, it is an important function of a thoughtful person.

  93. “The logical extension is a mental construct. It is a way of considering possible consequences, but that may be out of your league. Nonetheless, it is an important function of a thoughtful person.”

    As a great man said recently: “stupid, confident people are taking over the world”

    The breathtaking arrogance and self-importance above are a small example.

  94. //As a great man said recently: “stupid, confident people are taking over the world”///

    LOL!! MR, Joe’s the man, and that line deserves more traction.

    BTW: What do you think of Donal Óg Cusack’s remark about “the last remnants of British culture in Ireland” on the Sunday Game?

  95. There is of course no logical or ratiional thoughtfulness in NYs ludicrous arguments. He repeatedly claims that this case could logically lead to Irish identified citizens in Northern Ireland having the right to refuse to recognise the authority of British justice in their local courts. He basis this on the Hegarty case and it’s apparent ruling over the Queens portrait ( which has yet to be clarified as reported ).

    However, even that ruling had nothing to do with his role as a civil servant and his duty to carry out the laws of HM government as all civil servants are required to do. Therefore to leap from one tribunal ruling regarding
    An item on display in the workplace to an entirely different suggested future possible ruling about lawful government authority is without logic or reason.

  96. Noel – absolutely! There’s no tweet like a Joe tweet!

    I like Donal Og but that comment was off the wall. Its hurling. Some people like it played the traditional way, some don’t. It’s not the first time he has made an error of judgement.

  97. “Using the inoperative provincial NI assembly to prove how different NI is from Finchley is senseless.”

    I didn’t use it to prove out different Northern Ireland is from Finchley. I don’t need to go to governance to do that. Even the British people in Northern Ireland are different from the British people in Finchley. No DUP in Finchley for example.

    I used the governance structures of the two places to show that there is substantial constitutional difference between the two – in response to your nonsense statement that “constitutional position of Finchley and NI are in effect the same. The differences are minuscule and in the great scheme of things of little importance.”

  98. I found Donal Óg Cusack’s comments utter nonsense (and Derek McGrath not much better). I’d agree with Ger Loughnane and Ken McGrath that it was all about their over-sized egos.

    The tactical discussion is fine. I enjoy those sort of things. And here comes the issue – no one is actually really arguing the other side of things. It isn’t like in football where tactical innovations raise the heckles of the likes of Spilane. Brian Cody argues he doesn’t really do tactics. And the general response from most people in hurling is to laugh and not believe him.

    So if they had just gone through what Davy Fitz had done at Wexford, pointing out what changes he had brought in, then that would have been fine. Great even. But the problem with that is that the segment would have been about Davy Fitz and they couldn’t have that. It had to be about them.

  99. A manager once made an inappropriate comment to me, nearly 15 years ago.

    I’d always assumed that you were in your mid / late twenties Seamus?

    What laws does the Irish person in NI follow – UK or ROI?

    I live, work & abide by the law in Spain. I suppose that must make me Spanish.

  100. “I’d always assumed that you were in your mid / late twenties Seamus?”

    I’m 31. This was when I was 17.

  101. Seamus

    You are over 30 ! Welcome to the ATW old farts club. Although you can take comfort in still being the youngest old fart 🙂

  102. Thanks Colm (I think) 🙂

  103. Seamus

    You appear to hold the opinion that there is a big difference between Irish people and British people. I say that in response to your views on how different NI is from Finchley. To most people in the world there is little difference between the Irish and the Brits. They look alike, speak the same language, share the same culture and settle all over the world. The strained effort to differentiate from the British is amusing and small-minded. You are not the only one who suffers this handicap, many Irish also have it. To someone who has is familiar with the larger world is is quaint.

  104. To most people in the world there is little difference between the Irish and the Brits. They look alike, speak the same language, share the same culture and settle all over the world.

    So what’s the difference between the Irish, Brits, Yanks & Aussies etc?

    What you say may be correct however it still doesn’t make the state of NI as British as Finchley.

  105. “You appear to hold the opinion that there is a big difference between Irish people and British people.”

    Define big difference. I think there are some differences.

    “I say that in response to your views on how different NI is from Finchley.”

    Constitutionally there are huge differences. The constitutional setup in Northern Ireland is very, very different from the constitutional setup in Britain.

    “To most people in the world there is little difference between the Irish and the Brits. “

    And I am supposed to care that most people in the world are ill-informed?

    “They look alike, speak the same language, share the same culture and settle all over the world.”

    I must of missed when English people started speaking Irish. I did enjoy watching Liverpool and Manchester City play in the All-England Football Super 8s this afternoon.

    “The strained effort to differentiate from the British is amusing and small-minded. “

    Are you Canadian now? And is your desire to not be Canadian amusing and small-minded?

    “You are not the only one who suffers this handicap, many Irish also have it. To someone who has is familiar with the larger world is is quaint.”

    You have little knowledge of the world. You regard anything that is different as quaint and handicapped. How sad and boring you must be.

  106. Paul

    You think NYs 8:16 is correct? Either you are being too kind to him or you’ve have a fair tipple this lovely Sunday and can’t be bothered to argue 😀

  107. You think NYs 8:16 is correct?

    I think NYer’s doing what NYer usually does Colm, he’s talking out his arse. However, if he’s going to use the physcical, cultural, linguistic analogy to compare similarities between the Irish & English then it can be extended out to other English speaking nations to demostrate just what a ridiculous comparison it is.

  108. Seamus

    “And I am supposed to care that most people in the world are ill-informed?” That statement sums up your attitude to the larger world. It is as if you dwell in a cocoon and think the larger world has no effect on you. It is very provincial.

    “I must of missed when English people started speaking Irish.” A very tiny percentage of the Irish speak Irish so your point is irrelevant.

    “Are you Canadian now? And is your desire to not be Canadian amusing and small-minded?” Please explain what you mean. I am not Canadian.

  109. Paul McMahon

    “So what’s the difference between the Irish, Brits, Yanks & Aussies etc?” Not much. But what does that have to do with the similarity of the Irish and Brits?

    What do you think are the big differences between the Irish and the Brits? It will be interesting to hear from your continental perspective!

  110. “That statement sums up your attitude to the larger world. It is as if you dwell in a cocoon and think the larger world has no effect on you. It is very provincial.”

    It isn’t. Correct is correct. Incorrect is incorrect. If the majority of people believe something that is incorrect it doesn’t make it any more correct. There are important differences between Ireland and Britain. Including cultural, political and historical differences. If the majority of people on the planet don’t perceive that then the majority of the planet are wrong.

    You believe everyone is the same. The similarities between an Irish person and a British person are probably shared by Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders etc… The differences are what make us Irish, British, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders etc… A person with a full world view would appreciate the differences, sometimes small, that make up the tapestry of this planet. A small minded, pathetic little creature such as yourself can’t find that. How sad that must be for you.

    “A very tiny percentage of the Irish speak Irish so your point is irrelevant.”

    It isn’t irrelevant. You say that we speak the same language and have the same culture. The Irish language is evidence that both of those statements are wrong. A large proportion Irish people have at least some knowledge of Irish. Very view English people would have any knowledge of Irish.

    “Please explain what you mean. I am not Canadian.”

    And I’m not British. You look the same, speak the same language, and have very similar culture to a Canadian. So by your logic you are Canadian.

  111. What do you think are the big differences between the Irish and the Brits?

    Off the top of my head? Language – apart from the Irish / English language difference there are considerable differences in British and Hiberno English.

    Religion – While both countries are largely secular Ireland is predominantly a (nominal) Catholic country and Britain a predominantly a (nominal) Protestant one.

    Sport – GAA soprts aren’t hugely followed in Britain

    The Monarchy – Irish people generally don’t consider themselves as serf subjects of the Monarchy.

    Wakes – Wakes, as a celebration of someone’s life, are a concept which rarely if ever happen in Britain. They’re the normal cultural way of deaaling with death in Ireland.

    There are also huges historical differences but the big difference between the Irish and the British is that the Irish aren’t British any more than you’re a Canadian.

    Not much. But what does that have to do with the similarity of the Irish and Brits?

    Quite a lot, you speak the same language as most of Canada and have similar mannerisms, dress etc. You would describe yourself as Canadian?

  112. Congratulations Paul and Seamus, you’ve just done NY the tribute of taking seriously his absurd debating point about how Irish people are really British. What next ? will you be debating his premise that the moon is actually no different to a lump of cheese 🧀😉

  113. Colm,

    What next ? will you be debating his premise that the moon is actually no different to a lump of cheese 🧀😉

    The moon and a lump of cheese are both made of Atoms, consisting of protons, neutrons and electrons. They are pretty much identical.

  114. My take on this is that the British and Irish, as indeed every other person on the face of the planet are all very similar. I’m coming at it from a scientific point of view. From a cultural point of view there are huge differences.

  115. Seamus

    “If the majority of people on the planet don’t perceive that then the majority of the planet are wrong.” Perception can be reality. You could prove the majority of the people are wrong by showing the Irish are significantly different from the Brits, but I doubt you could do so.

    I believe all humans are fundamentally the same. There are variations which I appreciate.

    “A large proportion Irish people have at least some knowledge of Irish.” Yeah, they know Slainte. All the studies show a very tiny percentage of the Irish speak Irish in daily life. It is a near dead language.

    I generally like Canadians. I would not mind being one, but I am not. If I was called a Canadian that would be OK with me. But if you were called a Brit you would probably take great offense. That is an important difference.

    You should keep in mind that the similarity of the Irish and Brits has often been good for the Irish. For example, I believe it is a factor in foreign investment. If a corporation is looking to establish an office in the British Isles they see that Ireland is often as good as England because the people are similar.

    “A small minded, pathetic little creature such as yourself can’t find that. How sad that must be for you.” More name calling by a thin skinned provincial. I am not sad at all, I’m quite amused by you straining to prove how different you are from the Brits and how different NI is from Finchley. BTW, ever been to Finchley?

  116. Paul McMahon

    The language differences are only discernible to very few people. Nobody across the world has a difficulty understanding an Irish person speaking English.

    Both Ireland and Britain are Christian. Most people in the world don’t see much of a difference in the various types of Christianity.

    Sports – many of the Irish and Brits follow the same sports and major teams. Cricket seems to be growing in Ireland.

    The monarchy – quite a few in Ireland follow the doings of the monarchy, probably a similar percentage as in Britain. Ever look at a magazine stand in Ireland?

    Wakes – people still attend them in Ireland but I sense they are declining, especially in cities. Britain may be ahead or Ireland in this regard, but historically Britain did much with funerals and commemorations.

    In sum, there are no big differences between the Irish and the Brits.

  117. Colm

    “absurd debating point about how Irish people are really British.” It is not an absurd point. It is something the Irish have been fighting over for hundreds of years. If the Irish saw themselves as quite similar to the Brits, history would be very different. It might have been there would not have been a 1916 rebellion. The whole idea of Irish freedom is premised on how different the Irish are from the Brits. If they saw themselves as the same they would have been fighting themselves, and they weren’t, were they?

  118. Yes of course NY if the Irish people saw themselves as British and accepted British rule for centuries, peace ,Love and harmony would have ensued for everyone – and the same wishful unicorn fantasy could have applied to a thousand political/ethnic/nationalist conflicts around the world throughout history. If only every conquered people’s happily embraced the nationality and authority of their more powerful occupying neighbour we’d have universal world peace. How has the planet not embraced your simple wisdom I’ll Never know !

  119. Colm

    You must not know much of Irish history to write such tripe. Irish and British history are so entwined that there is actually little difference. Or, maybe you are enchanted by republican fairy tales.

    The similarity between the Irish and the Brits is a good thing. You seem to take it as a joke. As an Englishman do you see any major differences between the Irish and the Brits? If you want to be part of the discussion, drop the satire.

  120. The language differences are only discernible to very few people

    But they do exist. Yo asked me what my differences were, I told you.

    Most people in the world don’t see much of a difference in the various types of Christianity.

    See above.

    Sports – many of the Irish and Brits follow the same sports and major teams.

    That’s why I made the distinction about the GAA not being followed hugely in Britain as it is in Ireland.

    The monarchy – quite a few in Ireland follow the doings of the monarchy

    Yes, they’re generally the ones who light bonfires in July.

    Wakes – people still attend them in Ireland but I sense they are declining

    I don’t ‘sense’ that at all.

    Now I ‘ve ansered your questions please answer mine:

    Quite a lot, you speak the same language as most of Canada and have similar mannerisms, dress etc. You would describe yourself as Canadian?

    So?

  121. New Yorker

    The satire is coming from you. Or otherwise If you genuinely believe there is little difference between the British and the Irish then you are simply blind to the entire long divisive frictional history between the two entities. The average Mongolian peasant could teach you more about Anglo Irish history and differences. It isn’t even a serious topic of debate . It is justifiable to debate the methods by which Irish groups throughout history attempted to gain independence but absurd to try and posit that their is no separate Identity different from the British.

  122. Paul McMahon

    I would say I am similar to a Canadian, but not a Canadian citizen. It would not bother me if someone considered me a Canadian. My hunch is that most Irish would be bothered if someone considered them a Brit.

    On wakes – I was at one here in Ireland two weeks ago. People did not stay very long but I recall years ago people stayed for at least one or more hours. There was a large attendance and that may have accounted for the brevity. That is what I based my statement above on.

  123. Colm

    So, you are enchanted by republican fairy tales. There have been occasional Irish rebellions but there have also been English rebellions. In the 19th century there were more Irish than English in the British army. The Irish were an important part of administering the British Empire. Over the centuries millions of Irish moved to Britain and assimilated, I presume you are an example. In the 19th century and many centuries before there were Irish landlords, some of whom were cruel to their tenants. Not all landlords were British and absent. When Ireland was part of the UK I doubt Brits treated Irish worse than English of the same class. As I said above, the histories are entwined.

    As for the Mongolian peasant, I doubt he could tell the difference between an Irish person and a British person. His ancestors might have known British army officers who were Irish.

  124. I would say I am similar to a Canadian, but not a Canadian citizen. It would not bother me if someone considered me a Canadian. My hunch is that most Irish would be bothered if someone considered them a Brit.

    Any bother or none is incidental. If someone mistakenly thought an Irish person was British I suspect his factual incorrection would be corrected as I’m sure you’d do the same were they to think you Canadian?

    Empirical observation and personal experience tells me that wakes aren’t on the decline of Ireland at all as you suggest.

    As for the Mongolian peasant, I doubt he could tell the difference between an Irish person and a British person

    I doubt a Mongolian peasant could tell you the difference between the Dutch and Flemish, Austrain and German, Irish and British, Canadians and Americans, Kiwis and Aussies etc etc.

    People’s ignorance of other’s culture or nationality doesn’t define that culture or nationality.