Friday, 29 January 2016

Supporters of 'Integrated Education'?

Official IRA press conference in 1975
The Workers Party has reaffirmed its support for 'integrated education'.  

It brings to mind a photograph I see from time to time in BBC Broadcasting House in Ormeau Avenue, a photograph I saw again this morning and one which always brings a smile to my face.

It was taken back in 1975 and relates to a press conference and protest by the youth wing of the Official IRA.

(1) there is something incongruous about the association of masked members of the Official IRA and 'integrated education'.

(2) If you are promoting 'integrated education, don't produce a placard saying 'we demand ITEGRATED education'.

Back in 1975 the Official IRA was formally on ceasefire but during that year there was a feud between the Officials and the INLA during which three INLA and five OIRA members were killed.

Their political wing was Official Fein, which became Sinn Fein, the Workers Party and eventually from 1982 just the Workers' Party.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Casement Park - 'out of time'

The dereliction that is Casement Park
Yesterday afternoon I was in West Belfast to speak to the boys in the politics class at the Christian Brothers School on the Glen Road. On the way there I took a wrong turn and ended up on the Andersonstown Road. As I drove past Casement Park, workmen were erecting a new hoarding along the outside wall of the park. It looked well and it screened off the park from passers-by but the site is still derelict and the GAA have still not produced a new design to take to the planners.

In spite of what Caral Ni Chuilin has said, it certainly won't be built 'under her watch' and it won't even get started 'under her watch'.

The derelict site must be a constant reminder of a project gone badly wrong and it may be that someone is hoping, especially with an election looming in the near future, that 'out of sight' will mean 'out of mind'. I'm not sure that will be the case.

I suspect more people will simply thin kof the phrase 'out of sight' and say 'out of time'. Ravenhill has been completed, Windsor Park is almost completed and Casement hasn't even started.