87 2 mins 9 yrs

What do you think of the new Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre designed by Daniel Libeskind at the site of the Maze Prison? I personally detest modern architecture and in my own personal empire would crucify modern architects along our highways like the rebels in the army of Spartacus, but that is just me. The name sucks too. But the concept of turning prisons into museums is catching on as quick as you can whistle Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.

You can visit Isla de los Alcatraces (Island of the Pelicans) now known as Alcatraz. Devil’s Island, Port Arthur Australia, Robben Island and the Louisiana State Penitentiary (called Angola).

I’ve been to Kilmainham Gaol, The Tower of London and Carbon County Prison (where they hung the Molly Maguires). Good times, especially when you can leave on your own accord. And please, no cell phone jokes.

A lot of great writers wrote in jail (Cervantes, Oscar Wilde, Sir Thomas Malory). But I don’t suggest a long stay. A day visit is usually enough time to “get it”.

Of course in Northern Island nothing can go forward that doesn’t offend someone. The conversion of The Maze prison is no different. What are your thoughts on it?

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87 thoughts on “You Call it Corn, We Call it Maze

  1. I’ve been up a few times Mahons. The magnitude of what happened there is present in every brick and bar.

  2. 🙂 Very good Ross.

    I’ve been up a few times visiting when it was open and twice for a tour when it was closed.

  3. Should be great to visit considering they’re considering deleting bobby sands from the audio, not allowing people to bring flowers and still do not have an agreed narrative, nor can they justify it running at a loss of millions each year. Check the iplayer for Thursdays Nolan with William crawley.

  4. The Shinners have got their shrine, facilitated by the DUP. Mike Nesbitt is right (for once) – no unionist will have the slightest interest in visiting, apart from a few loyalist paramilitaries. I have always thought that the right thing would have been to clear the site and plant a woodland in memory of all the dead of the Troubles. The planting could have involved the whole community as well as creating a valuable habitat for wildlife.

  5. The Shinners have got their shrine

    How do you define shrine Peter?

    Is it the fact that people will visit it and be told the history of the place. Is that what makes it a ‘shrine?’

  6. Hi Mahons,
    Saying you hate modern architecture is like saying you hate modern music.
    A lot is trash, a lot middling and a lot brilliant – and each will assign the different buildings to these categories in his own way, after he has seen and walked through them, of course.

    I also like the name, a cute pun. Besides, anything that is supposed to be a monument to the Troubles or the political situation in Northern Ireland has to be slightly absurd.

  7. Paul

    Get real. This will be first and foremost a shrine to the hunger-strikers. The fact is that the hunger strike and the mass IRA jail break are the two outstanding stories to tell about the Maze, so they are bound to dominate “the history of the place”. The murder of the deputy governor and other prison officers who served there will be a footnote.

  8. Phantom

    Blackberry Playbook with bluetooth keyboard, normally excellent. Put it down to operator error 🙂

  9. Peter –

    You might still have a woodland. It’s a state funded project and this was only planning consent. There’s still alot of potential for things to go wrong.

  10. Pete

    No, it`s a done deal and it always was. If the Shinners get their way, it will be named The Bobby Sands Centre.

  11. They probably won’t have any catering at it then, in his memory. Just shops selling commemorative blankets.

  12. Peter –

    “If the Shinners get their way, it will be named The Bobby Sands Centre.”

    Well, there needs to be give and take over this. That’s what the place is supposed to be about – peace, reconciliation, a coming together to sort things out civilly.

    Maybe they can name the cafeteria after him.

  13. I hardly ever ‘plan’ to visit former prisons/jails but I’ve been in many all over the world…from Sweden to the US to Ireland to Melbourne to Tasmania etc. Melbourne jail is a fun experience. They use actors and all visitors are separated by gender and locked up in the dark and yeah, basically mistreated…I went with a four-year old boy who had his Teddy Bear arrested…all in good fun. There were also serious aspects of the tour but it was a very good balance. The Tasmanian experience also uses live actors but it was 104 degrees and required the use of imagination since much of the site has been torn down. They are not happy with the English there…
    I think they should hold off on the Kesh a while longer…what’s the rush? What of the ghost of the American airman from WWII who allegedly haunts the place?

  14. There’s an awful lot of bollocks being written (a lot of it by the 2 Peters here) about what this place will or will not be.

    The H Blocks hold a special, unpleasant place in the hearts and memories of people here.

    For some, it was where men endured unspeakable cruelty and hardship in the name of their cause, in the end using the only weapon left to them – their own bodies, to demand their rights as political prisoners.

    To others, it was where terrorists were rightfully sent – the most secure prison in Europe – to pay for their crimes, where their claim of political status was rightly removed, and where 10 of them committed suicide by refusing food.

    Either way, both opinions should be recognised, and where better than where it actually happened?

    I sometimes feel that those of, let’s say, a Unionist slant, object to the centre being placed here, do so because;

    a) They feel guilt about what happened to those prisoners who went on the Blanket and subsequently on hunger strike. Their guilt comes from, not any sympathy for the prisoners’ cause, but rather a sympathy for the conditions these people endured – deep down, they knew that even their most reviled criminals, the Moors Murderers etc, were treated better than these bloody Irish. Or;

    b) They don’t want to acknowledge the fact that some of ‘their own’ people, Unionist Loyalist paramilitaries terrorists prisoners were also incarcerated here, and they did nothing to assist them.

    In short – they washed their hands clean at the time, and they don’t want to be handed the grubby towel back now.

    History, especially here, should not ever be whitewashed over. Hold every single death, every single murder, up to the light. Put a spotlight on every incident, every injustice, every single miscarriage of justice, and recognise it for how wrong it was.

    What happened in the H Blocks was wrong. The only people who wouldn’t and won’t admit that were and are the perpetrators.

    It’s right that this centre to be placed on the site of the H Blocks. Don’t shy away from it. It’s your history, and you can’t change it.

  15. or

    c) Northern Ireland was essentially a decent place and the majority of its people did good and harmed nobody. There were, however, many trouble-makers around, of all religions and political beliefs, who did untold damage and caused untold misery.
    Building a memorial to their conflict with society is giving them undue publicity, while their victims get nothing.

    I’m not saying that’s my opinion, Seimi. But it is an opinion out there and there’s no point ignoring it.

  16. The fact of the matter is Pete that a member of Parliament dying on hunger strike with nine others is a major historical event. You don’t think that this story should be told?

    Many people were brutalized in that place and they weren’t just prisoners and everyone should have an opportunity to tell their story. Seimi is correct, there are polarized opinions of what happened in that place why can’t the stories of everyone affected be told and visitors can draw their own conclusions?

    Long Kesh was the centre of international attention on a number of occasions and the events which occurred there cannot and should not be brushed under the carpet because they conflict with a a particular narrative or because some are ashamed of their actions.

    Don’t like it Peter? Don’t visit it then.

  17. I asked above: is the time right? Is the site being too politicized at this time? I know the Kesh has been closed for a long time and what remains will continue to deteriorate so timing is of some importance. To be honest, I haven’t followed the story much since the sports center idea died.

  18. Paul,

    very interested to hear WHO you were visiting in the maze?

    Also, the scum incarcerated there who committed suicide were convicted criminals and the dregs of society.

    The place should be flattened and made into something constructive; not a shrine to scumbags and mass murderers.

  19. Seimi,

    what nonsense you write son.

    The lying, evil cowardly scum of the ira are viewed as the low life they were and are by all unionists.

    We do not trust lying yellowbellies of the republican persuasion, and my only regret was there were only ten of the slime who perished.

  20. Logical Unonist,

    “Seimi – what nonsense you write son.” – You certainly got that one right!

    Terrorists who killed the innocent so frequently and in the most cowardly way, and they think they were ill- treated? – is there no-end to the republican’s delusion?

  21. Ernest, I bow to thee…

    However, we musn’t forget the evil collie dog club of Ireland, who were of course ‘justifiably’ attacked by the ira belfast uint, at their awards dinner in La Mon House who were definitely NOT commanded by Gerry Adams.*

    *(Obviously)

  22. And they think they were ill- treated?

    The blocks were an extremely brutal place Ernest. If you think that physical brutalisation of prisoners is ill – treatment then they were ill – treated.

    As I said previously, the story of the place, warts and all, should be told by all involved, from the prisoners and screws on the blocks to the British soldiers in the watchtowers and people can draw their own conclusions.

  23. Who were you visiting Paul?

    Was it a family member?

    If you think that physical brutalisation of prisoners is ill – treatment then they were ill – treated.

    Do you think the Irish collie breeders deserved to be firebombed to death?

    Kingsmills; ‘prod or a taig?’ Then massacred…

    Were they ‘ILL TREATED?’

    The scum you and your community vote for, are lower than a snake’s belly.

    People know that the slime held inside to stop them blowing up men, women and children were and remain the impediment to peace in this part of the uk.
    Flatten the place and Jimmy Sands and the rest of the cowardly terrorists can be forgotten about.

  24. Oh FFS here we go.

    Why would I tell you who I was visiting?

    La Mon & Kingsmills were dispicable atrocities much like the murders of the Reavey and O’Dowd families by RUC and UDR members the night before Kingsmills.

    LU, please don’t address comments to me. Unlike everyone else here you have no interest in debate and I don’t feel like feeding Trolls.

  25. As you mentioned before, Paul,(correct me if I am wrong, of course),your family were IRA?

    I am interested to that end, as EVERYONE should know precisely what pushes your buttons.

    Still you vote for the leadership of the organisation responsible for the ‘despicable atrocities’.

    Keep it in the family, eh?

  26. I said that I had some family members in the IRA.

    I also had some in the British Army does that mean my family ‘were British Army?’

    Now, no more food back under the bridge with you.

  27. Paul,

    Those who take lives under the circumstances that they did, deserve no sympathy whatsoever. Cold blooded murder of folk who had no connection or influence on events deserve the harshest treatment possible.

  28. //As I said previously, the story of the place, warts and all, should be told by all involved, from the prisoners and screws on the block//

    Exactly. But why stop there? Should not, for the sake of the complete picture, the people who were there not also say what they did before they were put there?

    But they are never going to do that. Some of them killed country policemen in their isolated homes in front of their families. Do you think they are ever going to volunteer to come out with that information. No way. If British soldiers, even under the obligationi of a court order, still refused to tell the truth about their crimes, there is no chance of veteran IRA men doing so.

    The full story is never going to be told about the Troubles. While this project is IMO a brave attempt to tell at least some of the story, it will still be a partial truth, and I don’t believe anyone has a right to support it who does not also insist on everyone – even those close to thier political home – revealing all.

  29. That may be the case Ernest but we are speaking of ill treatment.

    If you consider brutalising prisoners as ill treating them then they were ill treated if you don’t then they weren’t.

  30. ‘ILL TREATMENT’

    phhwwaaarrroah! Havin’ a laugh?

    Pathetic.

    Paul McMahon, and his ilk, vote for the culprits of heinous murders, but as his family were IRA, then I suppose it isn’t surprising as he admitted at 5.39 pm.

    The ira are lying, COWARDLY scum.

    As are so called ‘loyalists.’

    Terrorism should be punished, not rewarded.

    As evidenced with marty at the bloody sunday appeasement; they will never tell the truth, one ony has to look at adams and his absurd refusal to confirm his membership of not just the ira, but the army council.

    Scum of the lowest order…

  31. Paul,

    You cannot be more ill treated than to have your life extinguished deliberatley and in cold blood, for some cock-a-mamy non-personal reason.

    In comparison your heroes got off lightly.

  32. Well said Ernest.

    Blowing people to pieces because not enough people vote for your stupid idea is the exact definition of terrorism.

    Look, the man has already admitted he visited at least one criminal in the maze, – plus he admitted his family is IRA.

    What do you expect from someone from that ilk?

    He will try anything, like the leadership of the mass murdering ira to excuse the many absent chairs around the table throughout the UK and the free state.

    These people cannot be reasoned with.

    They are like millions of Egyptians.

  33. No one is disputing that Ernest I merely said if you think beating prisoners is ill treating them then they were ill treated. If you think that part of the punishment of incarceration is physical brutality then they weren’t.

    My heroes? If you’re speaking about the IRA they weren’t my heroes.

  34. Ok then…your family.

    Are your family ‘heroes’?

    Who do you vote for?

    Sick little man.

  35. Paul,

    My apologies if I came across a trfle strongly in my last reply to you.

    Long ago when I first started reading ATW, I declared that I had never been to the Emerald Isle, and that I didn’t have a ‘dog in the fight’ between N and S.

    I lived, worked among and employed many great folks from there, for many years , West London being a virtual haven for them at that time. I speak of the early ’60’s’

    The ‘problems’ were very rarely raised in any angry sort of way, although they were metioned when the bombings started. Still we all got along just fine, the terrorism being seen more as a local problem than a national one, and well beyond our influence.

    My first experience of Irish Republican angst happened in America , in Florida where I owned small hotel, this was in the ’80’s’. Our first Paddy’s Day as hoteliers was a revelation, – we had rented two suites to two couples who were in town for a Barber Shop singing competition, – an annual affair. The couples were from Boston and were, apparently staunch supporters of the IRA.

    When they arrived and were ‘checking in’ and heard my accent they immediately attacked, spewing forth with stuff I had heard about but had never come across before, virulent barely described it. Being taken by surprise, I quietened things down and offered them their deposit back if they felt so strongly about me and my nationality. they quietend down and said they would stay – hardly surprising as it was at the ‘busy time’ of the Florida year.

    All went smoohtly until the day of the contest – by this time we were all getting along just fine, – they emerged from their rooms as respledent as butterflies from the chrysalis, – clad head to foot in the most sickly shade of green coloured suits, complete with hats of similar colour, reminiscent of those worn by leprechauns.

    We didn’t know – either us or our other guests, – whether to laugh, cry, or just throw up.

    In short they reached the finals, but didn’t win, and they came back and stayed with us for many years after.

    The irony of my tale is that these were third generation immigrants, all middle aged, and none of them had ever been to Ireland at any time, and yet they were so vehement about ‘the Troubles’ that they exploded at the sound of an English accent. Strange folk!

    In the years I have been reading ATW I have learned much of the history, from several viewpoints, and while my overall opinion hasn’t changed much I do see the resurgence ‘back in the sixties’ with the likes of Bernadette Devlin screeching on about the lack of council housing for Catholoics, as being all rather nasty, spiteful and totally pointless, being nothing more than ‘terrorism for terrorisms sake’.

    The single commenter that I always have time for is Henry94, – his comments always have a large dose of common-sense and he seems to be a realist at heart.

    As for the rest – well – I wouldn’t say they have alienated me, but they have certainly done nothing to encourage support for their viewpoint.

    In short I do see that things weren’t great for many folks, but nothing so bad that they warranted the numerous acts of terrorism that ensued.

  36. p.s. “The single commenter that I always have time for is Henry94” – I should have added ‘from the republican side’…

  37. //The irony of my tale is that these were third generation immigrants, all middle aged, and none of them had ever been to Ireland at any time, and yet they were so vehement about ‘the Troubles’ that they exploded at the sound of an English accent.//

    Actually, this is very common, and certainly not restricted to the Irish. Absence makes the heart grow more nationalist; many people, trying to find their place in a large amorphous Society, often go back to their roots with a vengeance.

    Most of the great nationalists were not quite the normal home-grown citizen of their favourite state – Napoleon and Wellington, Hitler and Stalin. Churchill’s mother was American, while DeValera’s father was Spanish etc.

    In fact, the phenomenon played no small part in “radicalising” the 9-11 terrorists, as well as probably the latest bombers in Boston.

  38. Ahem…

    Agi,

    Paul McMahon’s family were of the IRA, (as admitted earlier),the organisation responsible for blowing up thousands.

    Your experience with scum is indicative of the narrow minded nationalists we have to put up with in this part of the UK.

    Of course, they think that indiscriminate bombs are the way to ‘convince’ us that they are right.

    Dream on…

  39. Ernest,
    I find myself broadly in agreement with you, and actually Noel too. My own limited experience of people has shown that people brought up away from home and perhaps whether through parental influence, personality, an inability to fit in or a combination of all -or more; can make “the old country” wherever it is seem magical.
    We had it as kids being born of Geordie parents and brought up “dahn Sarf.” I got over it eventually when I realised that people are either nice or nasty, and that patriotism and group loyalty have their negative sides. Sometimes group loyalty can engender a form of guilt or emotional blackmail that makes us take up positions or perform actions that “prove our loyalty to the community.”

    ATW certainly makes you aware of the depth of feeling that divides communities in Northern Ireland, yet these same people seem to be able to live perfectly happily amongst their “oppressors” here on the mainland.

  40. Paul McMahon’s family were of the IRA

    I said some family members were in the IRA. I also stated that some family members were also in the British Army but you seemed to ignore that.

    That doesen’t mean that my family were ‘of the IRA’ or the British Army so please forget about your fixarion with me and go and peddle your poison somewhere else you obnoxious troll.

  41. Shrine or not it is going ahead. Live with it. It will be impossible to delete bobby sands from the history of the place, he is its most famous visitor. History cannot be rewritten or revised to suit politics.

    I doubt it will get the visitors that are forecast, just another white elephant to joint the rest.

  42. Paul.

    Who do you vote for?

    IRA?

    Ah…yes,…family.

    Got you little man.

    We are not mountains.

  43. PAUL MCMAHON’S FAMILY WERE ‘some’ OF THE IRA…

    SCUMBAGS GUILTY OF MASS MURDER.

    Watch his postings.

    The ira are SCUM.

    Don’t you agree, oh family member of the scum?

    Yes, or no?

  44. I have better things to do; sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good that you low life are so annoyed.

    One message.

    You’ll NEVER beat us.

    lol

    ps, peter, et al…get a life

  45. BTW, before I go to my lovely wife, Paul/IRA family scum, should think about the bodies like a jigsaw.

    Of course; your ira blew us up, but you cannot beat us.

    EVER.

  46. Noel; never have been, and you wouldn’t know.

    I will let you out if I open the window…

  47. Maybe an interior decorating programme with human faeces spread all over the walls.

    Lovely.

    That is the level we are talking about, and who Paul and others embrace and vote for.

    Scum.

  48. “Seimi – what nonsense you write son.” – You certainly got that one right!

    Ernest, which part of my post did you regard as nonsense? I believe that every single murder carried out throughout the Troubles here should be highlighted, investigated, and should be remembered. What’s wrong with that?

    I didn’t single out any particular group or ‘side’ for special attention regarding their time in the Blocks, I merely said that what happened in there was wrong, and I meant that from a purely humanitarian point of view. You, like others here, decided that I meant only Republicans, and jumped on your soap box to quickly denounce what I wrote as ‘nonsense’.

    I hate to break it to you, but times have changed. When people who break the law – any law – are sent to jail, they are still entitled to certain things. Things like not being beaten regularly. Things like not being deprived of exercise and association with other human beings.

    p.s. “The single commenter that I always have time for is Henry94″ – I should have added ‘from the republican side’…

    Can you show me the post where I identified myself as Republican?

    Ernest, I read some of your posts with interest, because you bring something to a lot of these debates which is often lacking – maturity and a sense of, well, sense.

    But in cases like this you get it wrong. Somewhere, on one of these posts, I, and Paul, were put into a category of who we blame, and our particular category was ‘The Brits’. Whilst I do blame successive English governments for the continuation of the Troubles, I don’t blame, either individually or collectively, the entire English population.

    But you decided to lump me in with the ‘republican side’. Why? Because I support the idea of a united Ireland? Surely that makes me a Nationalist. Because I believe we should stop suckling at the teat of the British parliament? Again – Nationalist. Because I believe that everyone, prisoners included, has the right to not be subjected to brutalisation and torture? I think that’s me being a decent person and a decent human being. Do I think the IRA were right in how they carried out their campaign? No, I don’t. What does that make me? More like you?

    I’m not saying that’s my opinion, Seimi. But it is an opinion out there and there’s no point ignoring it.

    You’re absolutely right, Noel, and I apologise for not including it. I think I probably took that one so much for granted, that I didn’t even think to mention it.

  49. Seimi, I’ve been having a rough time adjusting to a new job (same company, even on the same floor…just moved down the block [our building takes up a city block] but it’s entirely different from any other position I’ve held there)…but I did read your posts and loved them. Can’t wait for the next installation. Do one on Andytown…;-)

  50. Logical – Please behave or I will knock out your comments. David had, as I recall, previously asked you to cease and desist.

  51. Mahons, I’m in favor of knocking out his ugly comments.

    Paul doesn’t deserve this sort of foul abuse, deleting LU’s foul mouthed ugliness is a win for the good guys.

    David forces us to put with Troll’s running verbal assaults, why make us suffer another abusive, ignorant asshole?

  52. Mahons and Daphne –

    I’ve just decided to ignore any comments made by LU. I don’t think Paul is too bothered by them, or he would have said. I think it’s a hell of a coincidence though, that he suddenly turns up again, just when David is away from the controls as it were. Has he been lurking, I wonder?

    Mairin2 – thanks. Like I said, I will be an occasional poster. I have a couple of things half written at the minute, but to be honest, I’m loathe to bother David while he’s on holiday ( I email my drivel to him and he kindly posts it).

  53. Mahons, let the comments stand. It shows what a nuerotic personality we have to endure.

    Daphne. I really don’t mind his infantile abuse, indeed I find it amusing that the mention of my name can raise his levels of apoplexy. Seimi is correct he’s best ignored and then perhaps his unrequited fixation with me will, like a spurned lover, disappear

    Get a post up on Andytown Seimi and stop being so lazy !! 😉

  54. Lazy? Moi!?

    I have a few little snippets on Andytown…not least the A’Town Punks! 🙂

  55. Seimi,

    Yes I must admit to lumping republicans and nationalists together, simply because, as I have mentioned I have never had need to differentiate, having ‘got along’ with most that I have met, whether from the north, south or inbetween, and ‘the Troubles’ have never been a high priority for most Brits, me included.

    However, I cannot understand the lengths that some will go to establish unity, in a country that has been divided for centuries – ever since William. Just what is the big deal? many islands are subdivided and get along fine. I have nothing but contempt for those that take or have taken, or even support, the ‘terrorist route’.

    Doesn’t the British government have a record of dividing islands where conflicts exist, most with a fair degree of success, apart from Ireland.?

    Of course we all know that the IRA of the ’20’s were the originators of extreme terrorist style of dissent, indeed being much admired by the Jewish Irgun terrorists in the pre-Israel days. However, that is by-the-way, and doesn’t make the more recent attacks any more acceptable.

  56. Fair points, Ernest, but really, there is a world of difference between having aspirations of your country being united, and taking up a gun to achieve that.

    You should remember though, this country hasn’t been divided for ‘centuries’. The English have been here for centuries, and the Irish have resented that, but the country was only officially ‘divided’ in 1921, so there are people still alive today who can remember a time when Ireland was ‘united’.

    Doesn’t the British government have a record of dividing islands where conflicts exist, most with a fair degree of success, apart from Ireland.?

    Can you give a few examples?

  57. //However, I cannot understand the lengths that some will go to establish unity, in a country that has been divided for centuries //

    I’m not sure what you mean by that, as Ireland was a united entity – politically at least – until 1921.

    In any case, the drive for unity was generated by the presence of a large minority of Nationalists in NI and their treatment there.

    If Britain had insisted on dividing Ireland fairly in 1921, along the lines of political orientation, there would have been no substantial Nationalist population in NI, there would accordingly have been been no need for Unionists to fear it, and thus no discrimination, and in turn no Troubles.

    But of course, it was NI Unionists who did the dividing back then, and they were anything but fair in how they set about it, including large areas, cities and counties in their new province where the majority had expressed alliegance to Ireland.
    They thought they could get away with it, but the bloody thing stuck in their throat and was ultimately the reason for the failure of Northern Ireland.

    If they’d listened to more sober minds back then, including Churchill’s, none of this mess would have arisen, but they let greed get the better of them.

  58. By the way – did the title of the post confuse non-Americans? It comes from an old commercial here in the States.

  59. //By the way – did the title of the post confuse non-Americans? //

    Not this one. The title is nothing short of brilliant!

    The meaning was clear enough, and then that ingenius overlapping pun on “corn”, which is no doubt how many will describe the Maze memorial.

    Corn of course has a third meaning in US English.

    Well, he took a hundred dollars off a Slaughterhouse Joe
    Bought a brand new Michigan twenty gauge
    He got all liquored up on that roadhouse corn
    Blew a hole in the hood of a yellow Corvette
    A hole in the hood of a yellow Corvette

  60. Seimi,

    Well Cyprus for one – again North and South, Palestine, as was, – Israel and Palestine. Several former colonies in Africa, and the Far East, – also, I believe at one time Ceylon. I know some of these are not ‘islands’ per se, but surely any small area in the midst of a continent may be considered ‘an island’.

  61. “Doesn’t the British government have a record of dividing islands where conflicts exist, most with a fair degree of success, apart from Ireland.?”

    Ah now, Ernest. Come on.

    Cyprus, Palestine, Sri Lanka, India/Pakistan. All bastions of peace and mutual love.

  62. MourneReg,

    I quite agree, but none quite as self-pityingly neurotic as our neighbours!

    I have long felt that there is a big difference between the basic cultures of north and south that goes deeper than mere religion.

    However, I will admit I haven’t had the opportunity to dig deeper into the ‘why’s and wherefore’s’ of why this should be so. I do have long time friends from both sides, and I am quite happy to continue to enjoy those friendships – so why – as they say, would I wish to ‘upset the apple cart’?

  63. //I have long felt that there is a big difference between the basic cultures of north and south that goes deeper than mere religion.//

    Ernest, the division in Ireland is not between north and south; it runs through the north.

    Pete, it transported about a million Tamils to Ceylon, and then more or less kept them in inferior status. That’s always a recipe for trouble later.

    It also promised Arabs independence if they supported the Entente in the Great War and then, when that war had been won, calmly defaulted, leaving Arabs less willing to accept a compromise with the Zionists.

  64. I’m struggling to see what the British government has to do with any of them.

    Of course you are, but that is only because you are choosing to struggle.

  65. Noel,

    “the division in Ireland is not between north and south; it runs through the north.”

    And therein lies the very root of the problem – and so typically republican – it just has to be someone else’s fault!

    As for your comment re the Tamils in Ceylon, that they were regarded as inferior had nothing to do with the British government, that was purely an Indian/Hindu culture thing, they were long regarded as Untouchables long before they arrived in Ceylon.

  66. Ernest speaks of Ceylon.

    The British government was administering a mandate and wasn’t really that keen on zionism.

    I know quite a bit about Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. Nope, not our fault (though the CIA was deeply involved), and India/Pakistan? Nope, we’ve been gone for decades.

  67. Glad to read the yelps of the republican naysayers!

    Missed your moping BS.

    xo

  68. ps, Mahons, do your worst and conform to the censure you are apparently so against.

    As an individual who has stood against terrorist scum, it is very ironic you turn on me.

    Shame on you.

  69. “As for your comment re the Tamils in Ceylon, that they were regarded as inferior had nothing to do with the British government, that was purely an Indian/Hindu culture thing, they were long regarded as Untouchables long before they arrived in Ceylon.”

    Ernest
    Surely you must know that the British did nothing right during their days of Empire?
    Nothing! They have always been (guilty) oppressors, in the same way as others have always been (innocently) oppressed.
    Why we haven’t been bombed out of existence I shall never know.

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