Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Words on Wednesday...with Gerry McGeough

Gerry McGeoughWelcome to another edition of Words on Wednesday here on United Irelander, a concept unique to the Irish blogosphere, which sees me interview various figures from all walks of political life.

Taking my questions this week is Independent Republican candidate for Fermanagh-South Tyrone Gerry McGeough.

My thanks to Mr McGeough for kindly agreeing to be interviewed at this busy time. With that being said, let's begin:

First off, you are an Independent Republican Candidate for the upcoming election in the North. What is it that convinced you to run for office?

Well the fact that Sinn Féin have become a pro-Establishment party insofar as they have recognised the British Crown forces and, as a consequence, have legitimised the British state in Ireland. I therefore feel that someone needs to provide the people of Fermanagh/South Tyrone with an alternative, authentic Republican voice, and that's exactly what I'm doing.

You have been critical of the direction Sinn Féin has taken in recent years. Who do you hold responsible for this?

One simple answer: British intelligence services, and their well publicised manipulation and infiltration of the various ranks of the Republican movement, particularly the leadership.

If you could change three things about Irish society, north or south, what would you change and why?

Partition, partition, and partition!

What is the best way to achieve a United Ireland in your eyes?

To get the British out of here as quickly as possible.

I note that you were Sinn Féin's National Director during the first successful No to Nice campaign in 2001. Presumably like myself you were disgusted that the initial vote against it was not respected and that another vote followed it. Are you worried about the power of the European Union and the EU constitution which refuses to go away?

Yes, very much so; the European Union presents the Irish Nation with a very serious threat. They want to reduce us to a province once again, and we must carefully and vigilantly guard our nationhood against this.

You hit out at Sinn Féin's recent decision to support the PSNI. Why was this?

Because by supporting the PSNI, which is a British police constabulary, they are giving de facto recognition to the British state in Ireland, and are therefore legitimising the "right" of the British to rule in Ireland, and that's something we can't accept.

You have had a storied life which includes being imprisoned several times for your involvement with the Provisional IRA. Any regrets about this period of your life looking back?

Well, it is the obligation of men to carry out their patriotic duty, so it's not a case of regrets or otherwise. However, I would have rathered that it was seen through to the end in that we got a concrete guarantee of a full British withdrawal from Ireland.

You were active in the 1981 Bobby Sands election campaign in Fermanagh/South Tyrone. Give us your thoughts on Bobby Sands.

What more can I say - a great Irish patriot and hero, and a role model for younger generations.

Where should Ireland be twenty years from now?

An independent, sovereign and united Irish nation - and if all this talk of global warming is true, I'd hope that it'll be well above sea level!

You graduated from Trinity College with an Honours Degree in history and you earned a Higher Diploma in Education from UCD. I'm curious to learn from your study of Irish history what you think should have happened at the Treaty talks in 1921.

Instead of surrendering to British threats of swift and terrible war, I think the Treaty delegation should have called their opponents' bluff.

I'm aware that, like myself, you are opposed to abortion. Portugal recently went from a country opposed to abortion to one that will soon legalise it. Do you worry about abortion becoming legalised in Ireland in the near future?

I worry about it becoming legalised at any time, and I believe it is the duty of all Irish patriots to do everything in their power to oppose the introduction of abortion in this country. Any country that introduces abortion is one that's ultimately finished.

What reaction have you been getting locally from the constituents of Fermanagh-South Tyrone?

They've been very supportive, very warm, and very encouraging, and I'm privileged to have put my name forward for a chance to serve them.

What would you say to anyone from Fermanagh or South Tyrone reading this who isn't sure who to vote for in the next General Election?

If you want political leadership with integrity, that is prepared to work in your interests, and has a proven record of patriotic honesty, then you should consider voting for myself in order to provide the people of Fermanagh/South Tyrone with a viable alternative to the current, stodgy status quo we currently endure.

Finally I'd like to play a small round of word association. I'm sure you know what it entails. Basically just outline what word comes into your head when you hear the following:

Bertie Ahern - Taoiseach...
Tony Blair - Resignation.
Ian Paisley - Anti-Catholic.
Gerry Adams - Very disappointed.
Mark Durkan - Not surprised.
Sinn Féin - U-turn...
Repartition - Of Britain?
Irish language - Maith go leor.
United Ireland - Absolutely.
Gerry McGeough - Sincere.

Best of luck to Gerry in the upcoming election.

Stay tuned to United Irelander for future interviews. Previous interviews can be read here.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Fianna Fáil merger - Mark's best bet?

While the question of whether or not devolution will be restored to Ireland's north remains unanswered, what we do know for a certainty is that elections are on the horizon in the North, with the date set for March 7th.

I am very interested to see what will happen next month with regard to the nationalist vote. This time round the SDLP and Sinn Féin will have to contend with stiff Independent Republican candidates vying for votes.

Leading Irish American sympathiser and former Noraid chief Martin Galvin recently claimed these candidates would impress and should not be taken lightly. I have decided to revive my Words on Wednesday feature as the election looms and have put some questions to one of Galvin's hopefuls, Gerry McGeough. You can read that interview this Wednesday on United Irelander.

From what I've read and from what I've heard, my impression is that these candidates will poll well but will most likely not upset the Sinn Féin vote. I would be more concerned about the SDLP vote in this election. Last time round SDLP voters seemed to dismiss Durkan's party as Sinn Féin comfortably secured their position as the largest nationalist party in the North.

Mark Durkan has been hyping up his chances this time round but given that this whole election seems to have been organised by the clique - the DUP, Sinn Féin and the two governments - I don't like the SDLP's chances, nor for that matter the Ulster Unionist's.

I recall last time round, following the fallout of the election, that an oft-mentioned idea reared its head - the SDLP merging with a party from south of the border. Fianna Fáil tend to be the party cited as the most likely since there appears to be an element within the "republican party" who want to be organised throughout the island.

We know the SDLP haven't the means to run south of the border and Fianna Fáil seem uneasy about jumping in the deep end so to speak as it relates to northern politics. A merger would seem to be an option worth considering then.

If the SDLP take a hammering at the hands of Sinn Féin then you have to wonder if they could ever return to being the top nationalist party in the north of Ireland. I doubt they would, which makes this election an intriguing litmus test for the party's well-being.

In recent times we have seen the SDLP reaching out to parties from the south for a helping hand. Is there more to this than meets the eye?

Where I think the SDLP are unfortunate is that it seems many of their stances were copied by the Shinners eventually. Off the top of my head we had the On-the-Runs scandal, from late 2005, involving British legislation that would have given an amnesty to terrorists as well as British State forces. The SDLP vehemently opposed these proposals. Martin McGuinness however infamously appeared on the Hearts and Minds programme accepting the proposals. Of course a backlash ensued from within the nationalist community leading Sinn Féin to alter their position and oppose the legislation. We've also seen this year Sinn Féin endorse the PSNI - as the SDLP have done.

It would seem to me then that the SDLP's failing is that they don't seem to do rhetorical republicanism quite as well as Sinn Féin. Therefore, in my opinion, they ought to seriously contemplate an alliance with Bertie Ahern's "soldiers of destiny."

After all, nobody does rhetorical republicanism better than those guys.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


A victory for Ireland

What a tremendous sporting occasion today has proved for the people of Ireland!

Going into today's Six Nations rugby international between Ireland and England, the first ever at Croke Park, all the talk centred around whether or not the English anthem would be respected.

Back in the dark days of The Troubles, some of the UK nations refused to come to Dublin for games. The English team were not one of them and received a superb reception from an appreciative Irish crowd. Why? Because the English had shown us respect.

The media did their best to fixate on the playing of God Save The Queen at Croke park today, even bringing up terrible events from almost ninety years ago. Despite this, the Irish crowd made sure our nearest neighbours were given proper respect as the English anthem ended up being impeccably well-observed.

I never thought I'd feel such a strong sense of pride, listening to God Save The Queen of all things, but I was immensely proud of the rugby fans, and prouder still that the extreme elements of our society did not achieve their aim of putting a dampener on this historic moment.

The most important aspect about today however was the performance on the pitch, and boy did the Irish players deliver. England were played off the park as Ireland defeated them 43-13.

Just a sublime day all round and one of the best sporting moments this island has seen in a long time. You could really get a sense of the emotion that was swirling around the ground and after flicking over to the BBC following the conclusion of the game, you got a sense that the English appreciated what today meant to the people of Ireland too.

Republican Sinn Féin and the rest of the extremist whackos hopefully got the message loud and clear - WE HAVE MOVED ON.

I'll leave the last word to English BBC presenter John Inverdale:

"While it's been an amazing day for twenty-two Irish rugby players, I think the overall winners probably have been the entire Irish nation. All five million of them."

Well said, friend. Well said.

Update: Youtube has the BBC's footage of the anthems at Croke Park yesterday. Quite a moment:

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Some racket for the ladies

I am amazed and disappointed in equal measure at the ridiculous decision, announced today by the All England Club, to allow men and women have equal prize money for the first time at this year's Wimbledon tournament.

What a pathetic, gutless bunch of cowards they are to give in to the PC brigade and the rest of the feminazis who pushed for this.

I have no problem with men and women having equal pay - as long as the women do the exact same work as the men!

We will now see a situation where the men must play a maximum of five sets whilst the women play a maximum of three sets and yet both sexes will receive the exact same amount of money? How is this fairness?! Has the world gone bonkers?

The bias of the BBC article on the issue is disgraceful too. The article has a host of players in the game praising this decision. It also tells us:

"Mauresmo earned £30,000 less than the men's champion in 2006."

Oh boo hoo. Well if she had played as many sets as Roger Federer had to then maybe she would have deserved more!

John McEnroe when commenting on the matter said:

"I think when you've got men and women playing at the same tournament, it is ludicrous to have a difference in pay."

Oh you cannot be serious John? It is ludicrous rather to have the same pay for men and women when there's a different workload!

Let me put it to you like this. Let's say there are two workers at a supermarket, one male and one female. Now let's say the woman works from 9-5, whilst the man works a 12 hour shift from 9-9. Now are you telling me that in such a scenario it would be fair to have these two individuals get paid the same amount?

Of course not!

This is a defeat for the forces of common sense and a straight-sets victory for the politically correct do-gooders. Game, set and match for the anti-penile bandwagon.

I find it ironic that the organisers of a tennis tournament don't seem to have any balls. What a joke.


"It's not what you know..."

BooI've recently become aware that the Irish Blog Awards are on the horizon. I've not been very active with blogging in recent months due to a pretty hectic lifestyle (women, cars, holidays, you know yourself) and one of the effects of this is I'm not in the Irish blogosphere 'loop' as much as I used to be. Hell, I just checked some of the blogs on my blogroll and while some have moved, loads have passed on into bloody cyberspace. Time flies.

It has come to my attention though that this year, unlike last year, United Irelander has not been shortlisted as a contender for 2007's Best Political Blog. Sniff. I discovered it was however nominated in the original long list of contenders. Since it wasn't me who nominated the blog, thank you to the person/s who decided to throw my name forward. It is appreciated.

Admittedly it is a bit disappointing to not be acknowledged by other bloggers. I felt the stuff I was writing mid-'06 was some of the best stuff I've done to date. I was proud of the extensive coverage I gave to the Easter Rising and the debates here on the site, plus the fact I was able to secure interviews with several high-profile politicians such as Pat Rabbitte and David Norris.

I felt that was pretty impressive for a lone political blogger but I guess others didn't think so.

No matter. My main gripe with this year's shortlist is not the fact that I've been left out but that some really terrific political blogs, which I'm a big supporter of, were omitted. Frankly, some of the blogs shortlisted this year are hugely undeserving. One of them is a blog by Dominic Hannigan, a Labour party candidate in the next election. I've nothing against the man but what has this guy done to warrant being shortlisted?

We know Slugger's going to win it anyway but that doesn't mean any old political blog should be thrown in there. It reads more like a party blog than a political blog if you ask me. I'm not crazy about some of the other blogs shortlisted on that list either.

Personally I think blogs like Balrog, Big Ulsterman, The Green Ribbon and El Blogador were all far more worthy than most of the blogs on that shortlist. Shame how good blogs tend to get dismissed by the "intelligentsia" of the Irish blogging community.

Here's my prediction for what will be 2008's 'Best Political Blog' shortlist:

- Mary Harney's blog
- Slugger O'Toole
- Willowfield's Irish nationalist blog
- Twenty Major (he'll be in every other category)

In other words, decent political blogs who put in a lot of effort will continue to go unrecognised. Look at some of the other shortlists for the various categories here and you'll see some more questionable finalists.

The boys at Balrog for example, who unlike me didn't go on any sort of hiatus, have continued to post thought-provoking content even though their lives have been very busy. This sort of dedication is what should be rewarded, not 'Dear Diary' posts and Sinead Gleeson film reviews.

It's a damn shame but hardly surprising.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Search is on for NI's bonniest baby

I was interested to learn courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph that the hunt is on to find out who'll be the top tot in NI's biggest bonny baby competition.

This is the tenth year of the coveted competition to find the Babyface of 2007, which is offering a first prize of £750.

I thought I would offer the competition organisers some free help by running through a list of who I think are the top babies in the north of Ireland...

With that in mind, coming in at number 5 is...

Hairy boy
Pat Mustard Jnr

Wee Sammy Wilson! Poor Sammy under different circumstances would be a shoe-in for NI's bonniest baby.


Big rosy red cheeks and a boyish grin to boot. Has also come up with adorably childish nonsense over the years pertaining to Ireland including:

"One half of the island broke away from British rule but the other half remained tied to Britain."

"The decision by Education Minister Angela Smith to fund three new Irish medium primary schools is nothing short of a disgraceful use of public money."

Just adorable!


Sadly, wee Sammy sports a moustache that would make Tom Selleck blush. Sorry little man but hairy babies are a big no-no for a baby contest.

Let's see who's in at number 4...


That's right it's Mark "I'm not John Hume but I'm bloody close" Durkan. A guy who has all the traits necessary to be a contender.


Not hairy (by any means). Looks like a baby and has an impressive comic ability. We all like babies who can make us laugh.


Can be very dull. We don't like babies who are bores. Also tends to be whiny and complains on numerous occasions. Cranky babies never win prizes Mark!

On to our number 3 baby...

Lord Lucan

That's right it's the artist formerly known as David Trimble, now calling himself 'Baron Trimble'.


Really strong contender. Not only has the baby boy looks but also gets flustered very easily which is most adorable. Has also come up with some really infantile comments about the Irish Republic:

"If you took away Catholicism and anti-Britishness, the state doesn't have a reason to exist."

"a pathetic, sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state"

Oh Davy, you are precious!


Has been very negative at times. Has shown a willingness to take his ball and go home. Literally. No one likes a mean baby!

OK time for a look at our number 2 baby...

Little Damien

Yes indeed it's Ian Paisley Jnr, who narrowly misses out on the accolade.


Remarkably childish in almost every way. Being the son of one of the most petulant and immature people to ever hit the island of Ireland, young Paisley had big shoes to fill but he has filled them with some aplomb. Some of his childish quotes include this one on President McAleese:

"Her comments are completely irrational and are designed to insult the integrity of the Protestant community and damn an entire generation of Protestant people.

"Her mask as being a healer of divided peoples has slipped. She is spewing out hatred of the Protestant community, whilst accusing those same people of hating Catholics."

Oh Ian you really are too much!


Sadly has quite a mean streak in him and lacks a fair bit of charm. This hurts his chances unfortunately.

But now it's time to unveil the North's biggest baby, the number 1, the bonniest baby of them all. Ladies and gentleman give it up for...

'I'm not going in the naughty corner!'

Yes it's king of the wobblers Willie Frazer! Frazer is the undisputed top baby of NI.


He has the right look and all the required personality traits for good measure. Let's take a look at some of his childish outbursts in recent times.

On last year's riots in Dublin:

"I blame the words of Mary McAleese and Fr Reid for the reaction on the streets. They played a major part in it. They were responsible for it."

On the idea of another Love Ulster march being held in Dublin:

"The sectarianism and the bitterness that is there is going to have to be dealt with and it is down to the people of Southern Ireland and the people in Dublin. If they are going to support the Republican Movement, they are sending a quite clear message out to people like ourselves: We support the people who were out on the streets of Dublin last Saturday."

On alleged sectarian chants by Celtic footballers:

"Rangers seem to have knocked this sort of behaviour on the head."

Reflecting on his infamous outburst on Father Alec Reid who had compared unionist treatment of nationalists to the Nazi's treatment of the Jews:

"The remarks by Alec Reid are appalling and reveal a mindset which could be portrayed as deeply bigoted and fundamentally racist."

"I did fly off the handle but I could not sit there and allow him to accuse the unionist people of persecuting the Roman Catholic community for the last 60 years. That is far from the truth."

Oh Willie, you are the riot little man! Frazer of late has been vocal in expressing his opposition to power-sharing with Sinn Féin labelling it negotiations with terrorists. What a joker!


Admittedly he can be negative and moody, whiny and cranky, but in Willie's case that's all part of the charm! It's part of the overall package. Willie my boy, we salute you!

I look forward to the results of this year's contest. I know who my money's on!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


The true Irish team move ahead of NI!

Oh dear, the NI fans won't like this! We know how important the FIFA world rankings are to them but as the BBC report...

"...the Republic of Ireland have jumped three places ahead of Northern Ireland to 46th spot"

Oh no! This won't sit well with the "wee" fans at all, will it?

It was truly quite sad how positively orgasmic NI's fans went when they moved ahead of the proper Irish football team in the rankings a few months back.

They should've realised that the world rankings are a joke anyway. Right now both teams from this island lag behind such international heavyweights as Mali, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Ludicrous altogether!

Having said that, as insulting as the rankings are, having NI's team of no-hopers ahead of our young and talented professionals was just too insulting!

The new rankings restore some much needed credibility to an already questionable list.

We might be managed by a donkey at present but we're still aeons ahead of England Junior up the road!

Don't forget that FIFA!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Portugal will legalise terminations

I'm very saddened to learn that Portugal is preparing to legalise abortion, despite turnout for the referendum on the matter being too low to be legally binding.

Turnout was about 40%, far less than the 50% required, but of those who did vote, 59.3% backed a proposed change to the current law.

Now Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates is determined to press ahead with the change:

"The law will now be discussed and approved in parliament.

"Our interest is to fight clandestine abortion and we have to produce a law that respects the result of the referendum.

"The people spoke with a clear voice."

Partido Popular, which campaigned against the change, have condemned the plans, as have the Catholic Church who have said Catholics, who account for 90% of Portugal's population, must oppose abortion.

Of all the EU countries, only Ireland, Malta and Poland have such similarly strict legislation as Portugal.

I must say I find this very disappointing. I echo the sentiments expressed by Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, the Patriarch of Lisbon, who said:

"Whatever the motives that justify this dramatic act in the eyes of a woman, it is always the denial of a place in the world for a human life that was conceived."

And that is the crux of the issue. To deny the chance of life is just as heinous an act as to take a life. There is no difference.

Should this one's life have been snuffed out?

I can't wrap my head around these people who campaign for things such as this. Do the Portuguese people who cheered and danced around as this result was announced not understand that had their parents decided to have an abortion when they were in the womb, they wouldn't even be here today?

And don't get me started on the moronic argument that life doesn't begin until you have been delivered from the womb and taken your first breath of air.

Expectant parents can observe their unborn child's heart beating on an ultrasound and they can feel their child kicking. Now if those aren't signs of life I don't know what are.

That is not the only problem associated with this. As the BBC report:

"Voters were being asked to decide whether to make abortion legal in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, if carried out at the woman's request in a registered clinic.

"But since the wording says nothing about the woman having to justify her decision, those against the reform say it is abortion on demand."

Notice how ridiculously skewed this is in the woman's favour. That's another one of the moronic arguments - "what about the woman's right to choose"? Huh? It wasn't just the woman that caused the pregnancy!

The man never has a choice at all. If the woman decides to terminate the pregnancy it's a case of, "Sorry about that but I guess you aren't becoming a father after all. Thanks for the sex though. It was fun!"

Abortion in my mind is one of the most ghastly things that humans have ever come up with. The idea that we as people can play God and determine who is fit to come in to this world and who isn't is a fundamentally flawed position.

In my view only in extreme cases should abortion be considered an option.

Portugal has decided to embark down a dark road of death. Its victims will never have a chance...


Croke Park musings...

Well, it finally happened. Croke Park was opened up to rugby for the first time. Thankfully the world didn't end and it didn't signal the demise of Irishness as we know it. Unfortunately, it did signal the demise of Ireland's Grand Slam hopes as the team slipped to an agonising 20-17 defeat.

It's been a long time since a sporting result has knocked the stuffing out of me quite like that. I think I'd have to go back to Ireland's penalty shoot-out defeat to Spain at the 2002 World Cup for a defeat that was as gut-wrenching as this one. I suppose it's because we were so close to beating the French.

I thought they were supposed to be "cheese-eating surrender monkeys"? Not cheese-eating never-say-die bastards!

Who knew the French could be so annoying?

Having said all that, I am a Dubliner therefore losing at Croke Park is something I'm quite used to.

As for the occasion itself, I thought it was brilliant. I'm only sorry I wasn't able to see it in person but tickets were hard to come by. Still, from watching it on TV there was clearly a great atmosphere and I think all those in attendance were in admiration of the stadium. I just think it's a shame we had to wait so long to open it up but there's no point in dwelling on that.

Staying with Croke Park, I've heard reports that Peter Hain, NI's Secretary of State, could wind up laying a wreath in memorial to 13 fans shot dead on the first Bloody Sunday in 1920.

On this day, British forces opened fire on the crowd attending a Dublin vs Tipperary match causing the deaths of civilians including two boys aged 10 and 11, as well as Tipperary captain Michael Hogan.

Now as horrible as that incident was, and I don't wish to belittle it, I don't see what the point is of having Peter Hain do this, particularly on the eve of the England match. Doesn't that send out a rather worrying implication? That the English team are in some way connected to this monstrous incident? Forget the sins of the father, this is more like the sins of the grandfather.

Keep politics out of sport. The match against England at Croke Park shouldn't be made into this big political moment. The English anthem will be played yes (big deal) but the big issue here is beating them and retaining the Triple Crown.

To me this wreath-laying idea is a load of political posturing rather than a genuine feeling of remorse over the deaths of those innocents. Not only that but I feel this will serve no other purpose than to portray all of us here in Ireland as bitter individuals, still consumed by the past.

It's time to look forward. Leave that stuff for another day. Young Irish kids in attendance for the match should be asking which players are playing, not asking why innocent people were murdered.

God knows they've plenty of depressing stuff from our past to occupy themselves with at other times. How about giving them a day off from all that and letting them enjoy a sporting occasion?

Or is that too much to ask?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Neutered Lions led by a Donkey...

Oh for feck's sake.

San Marino are a bunch of part-timers who have never picked up a point in European Championship qualification, and, wouldn't you know it, Stan the Man (stop laughing please) and his Irish boys almost had the distinction of gifting them their biggest ever result.

We're a bloody laughing stock in football right now.

It's bad enough having to tune in to TV3 to hear Trevor what's-his-name mumbling on in his dreary voice, but throw in a performance that makes Bolton Wanderers seem like Real Madrid and you'll have an idea of what the Irish performance was like.

Did Stephen Ireland's goal save Staunton's job? I doubt it as the gangsters in Merrion Square will cling on to their cheap little investment for as long as they possibly can. What Ireland's goal did do is give the drone from Drogheda a chance to spit out pathetic excuses such as this:

"We controlled the game from start to finish and could have scored six or seven but we were sloppy at the back."

Yeah and if my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle.

"San Marino were always going to improve as the group went on"

Bear in mind this is a team which conceded 25 goals from their first 3 qualifying matches.

"The lads are disappointed with the performance but I am delighted to get the three points with two matches at Croke Park to come."

Apparently he's not disappointed at all. I'm sick of the OTT enthusiastic guff constantly thrown our way by this guy.

Oh we got 3 points! Hooray! Croke Park soon lads! Hooray!

It's time to wake up to the reality that while there is a lot of potential in our young players like Stokes, Long and Doyle, Staunton is NOT the man who can fulfil this potential.

We need a change. We need new ideas. We need a new face!

Staunton out!

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