Liverpool’s Irish community under attack

Liverpool’s Irish community under attack


Written by: Ryan Erfani-Ghettani

A new report by an Irish community group based in Liverpool is a call for help against growing far-right and Loyalist attacks.

In 2012, members of the far Right attacked three commemorative marches organised by the Liverpool Friends of Ireland and other Irish community groups. Among those taking to the streets in opposition were the British National Party, the British People’s Party, the Infidels, Combined Ex-Forces, National Front and the English Defence League. This loose collection of far-right supporters is stark evidence that, although splintered and fragmented, with no obvious leadership to speak of, the far Right is as capable as ever of mobilising in defence of the Union Jack. Last year, it stoked tension in Merseyside by accusing the organisers of the commemorative parades of being IRA fronts, and garnered support from Liverpool’s Loyalist Orange Order. Consequently, Liverpool’s Irish community was subjected to sustained abuse and hit with missiles.

The details of the attacks can be found in a new report by Cairde Na hÉireann Liverpool (CNE), a Liverpool-based Irish community group that engages with the Labour and Trade Union Movement. CNE is proud of its history of involvement in local anti-racist and anti-fascist struggle – it has marched in defence of detained asylum seekers, with the Black community after the racist murder of Anthony Walker in 2005, and has been involved with Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

The report, Under Pressure, provides an account of recent anti-Irish racism in Liverpool, linking it to a history of institutional racism and far-right and Loyalist activity in the city. The activity of the British security services in the 1970s had led to the Irish being treated as a ‘suspect community’ through measures such as stop and search, and intimidating visits to the homes of activists who spoke against British government policy in Ireland. This was coupled with a hostile media campaign. This, according to CNE, effectively stamped out Irish community activity on the streets of Liverpool until the ‘90s, when, despite the best efforts of local Loyalists and Orange Order members, the Irish community fought back and its parades were re-established. Now, says CNE, that revived tradition is under attack.

CNE raises concerns about the resurgence of anti-Irish far-right activity, which shows every sign of growing apace with the recent involvement of Jim Dowson, an ex-BNP official, in the Loyalist flag dispute in Belfast. These disturbances have been mirrored in Liverpool in the past year, with UKIP also entering the fray. In January, it issued a press release in support of Unionist protests in Liverpool, describing the removal of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall as part of the ‘continual cultural attacks against Britishness in Northern Ireland’. 

CNE’s report attempts to show that anti-Irish racism has been dangerously under-acknowledged and little understood by those who should be responsible for addressing it – the police and the press. Under Pressure comes as an attempt to remedy this, by pointing to the failures of Merseyside police to keep the far Right from Irish parades, the failure of its officers to recognise anti-Irish racism when they are confronted with it, and the failure of the local and national media to show much interest in the new threat.


Download a copy of the report: Under Pressure: a report into far-right and Loyalist attacks against Irish community parades/marches in Liverpool during 2012

Cairde Na hÉireann Liverpool

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

30 thoughts on “Liverpool’s Irish community under attack

  1. Why have convicted IRA terrorists been invited as speakers at your ‘not IRA parades’?

    Why commemorate IRA murderers at your ‘not IRA parades’?

    Why ship in Scottish bands named after IRA murderers and dressed in IRA paramilitary uniforms to your ‘not IRA parades’?

    At least 1 Merseyside trade union has seen through the façade of these ‘Irish Community’ parades and declined – quite rightly – to have anything to do with them.

    The last ‘parade’ through Liverpool city centre came at a cost of over £67,000 to Merseyside Police just so you could glorify terrorists. This was supposed to be remembering the Spanish Civil War – only one banner proclaimed such, yet another dozen had IRA murderers emblazoned on them? But hey, it wasn’t an IRA parade was it?

    You may be able to dupe a few sheep-like lefties and local Anti-Fascists (who bizarrely are more fascist than the alleged fascists you say protest against your ‘not IRA parades’) but the people of Liverpool can see right through your attempts to hoodwink the wider community!

    If you knew your history, you’d also realise that the great James Larkin, if he were still alive, would be at the front of the protests against these ‘not IRA parades’.

  2. You are being a bit disingenuous here, so allow me to respond.

    I don’t represent any organization, I am just a member of the Liverpool Irish community and you are attempting some hoodwinking of your own here.

    1)The marches have been led by the Liverpool Irish Patriots Republican Flute Band. They have no paramilitary trappings and support the peace process. When they marched on their own in February, they were also attacked. A Republican march is not an “IRA march”. That is total propaganda. In our democratic country it is not illegal to be an Irish republican, as long as you support peaceful means.

    2) The dress of republican flute bands has a military look, as does the dress of Loyalist bands, many of which are “shipped” into Liverpool from Scotland and Ireland. Do you oppose them also? Correct me if I am wrong, but a uniform is always going to have a “military” look. How do you propose they dress?

    2) Bands from Scotland joined the Liverpool band in October and at least one of them was named after a former IRA man, on that point you are right. But is that breaking any law? I understand that could be provocative to people opposing the march, but does not in itself mean it was an “IRA march”. It is simply not true to say there were a dozen “IRA banners” on the last march. There were banners of various bands and organizations that took part. Not one of them had the word “IRA” on it. Not one of them had anti-British sentiment on it. Some had pictures of historical Irish Republican figures. That is offensive to you because you are an opponent of Irish Republicans. But we live in a democracy, don’t we?

    3) There is a peace process going on in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein support the peaceful reunification of Ireland. Whether you like it or not, they are now a mainstream political party in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. If any “IRA murderers” are speaking at these parades, why have the police not arrested them?? More propaganda. Nelson Mandela was once branded a “murdering terrorist” as a member of the ANC in different times. Would you object to him speaking in Liverpool today?

    4) The huge policing cost is a direct result of far-right groups attempting to prevent a peaceful march and threatening violence against marchers. That is like blaming a victim for the cost of investigating a crime against him or her.

    5) Liverpool has a large Irish community and these people have a right to march, the same as Orange Lodge members have a right to march in the city. To brand these marches as “IRA marches” is the same as branding an Orange march as a “UVF march”. It is just propaganda to try and prevent them from taking place and also to create an atmosphere that allows anti-Irish racism to flourish. That is why the groups who were opposing the march were far-right groups, many of whom were encouraged to attend from outside Liverpool. Not the “wider community” of ordinary citizens of Liverpool as you suggest . Those groups don’t represent the “people of Liverpool”

    6) Can you explain why the paramilitary and far-right Combined Ex Forces, the ultra-racist North West Infidels and the English Defence League were organizing the counter-demonstration and not the ordinary citizens of Liverpool?

  3. This is purely IRA propaganda, from IRA sympathizers, under the guise of socialism. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it’s a duck. The same with IRA parades.

    Scousers will not be fooled. These LIPRFB parades are glorifying terrorism, end of.

    The NWI only number 10-30, CxF less, and EDL negligable. You have been opposed by hundreds of Scousers, that happen to be English, and object to having there noses rubbed in it by people celebrating the murder of Englishmen and women, and your surprised.

    The vast majority opposing the IRA parades are either apolitical, or vote Labour, so the Left/Right rubbish won’t wash.

  4. Take away the Scottish and welsh flute bands out of these republican parades in Liverpool and you are left with a tiny number of plastic paddies who lack any visible support by anybody here,let alone the Irish community.
    The amount of fly posters/advertising put up around Toxteth by the republicans promoting an anti racism march was ironically abused by black/mixed race working class scousers who were not to impressed with IRA supporters being forced through the streets.
    A quick listen to the songs these bands play and promote will show exactly what their agenda is regardless of any other well meaning cause.
    Its about time people realized being on a lawful protest against militant Irish republicans has nothing to do with race.

  5. Why don’t we start by identifying who we are instead of pretending to be just “ordinary scousers” with no political agenda here? If you are a Loyalist say so, if you are NF say so. otherwise you are hiding behind a facade.

    I am not an IRA sypamthizer, but am proud to be Liverpool Irish.

    Just because you don’t like Irish republicans, for whatever reason, doesn’t mean they don’t have right to march. We live in a democracy.

    They are not glorifying terrorism – I have been on some of these marches and there is a wide array of political opinions amongst marchers. It is very lazy to try and label all of them as “IRA sypathizers”, and I would suggest you have particular motives in doing so. On these marches, people do not shout IRA slogans nor anything offensive to English people, as you try to paint.

    I am not going to argue about numbers, but there were a lot of protestors from outside Liverpool who were invited by local members of NWI, CXF and NF. The scousers that were there were either local Loyalists or local British natonalists.

    Many local members of these racist groups also happen to be local Loyalists as well. The same names keep appearing on their facebook pages. The thing is when the links between Liverpool Loyalists and the CXF, NWI, NF are pointed out people start denying them. Beacuse they don’t want to be associated with racist far-right groups. Publicly, at least. Only last week 10-15 people from the NWI were part of the Loyalist Union Flag protest in Liverpool.

    It is irrelevant how many NWI, CXF, NF were there exactly. The point is they were there. And they were in the middle of the protestors. They rallied supporters from all over England and Scotland. This week, they heard a rumour that there was another march scheduled this weekend and they immediatley asked suporters from all over to descend on Liverpool. How would the ordinary scousers feel if they knew people who glorify nazis were whipping up trouble on their streets? The same people who made up stories about poppy sellers being attacked by asian stall holders in St Johns in order to whip up some anti-asian feeling in the city for their own racist agenda. That, to me, is a total disrespect for the poppy and what it stands for.

    Southender, the flute bands play a mixture of Irish ballads and some rebel songs, mostly historical , some about events from as long ago as 1798 or 1916. These events are part of Irish history and people have the right to remember them. In the same way, some people celebrate the Battle of the Boyne. A lot of people were killed at that Battle – is that glorifying murder to now sing about it or raise a banner with King Billy on it??

    Do you know the words of some of the songs played by Orange bands in Liverpool? They could also be considered offensive to a large section of our city if people wanted to start examining the sentiment. It is offensive, in a city that has the highest proportion of Catholics in England, that people should be shouting F*ck the Pope on their streets. How do you feel about that?

    Just to calrify, it is not a lawful protest when protestors shout anti-Irish slogans or tell people to “f*ck off back to Ireland”. That is racist. And there are laws against that in our country.

    Trying to brand everyone on an Irish march as an IRA sympathizer is just trying to demonize everyone there for your own agenda. Which, hopefully, you will have the courage to share with us.

  6. Here is a flavour of some of the groups who were trying to mobilize this weekend in Liverpool, after rumours started of another “IRA March”.

    It is worth noting, that members of Liverpool’s loyalist community, had “liked” or commented on these posts

    Casuals United – racist football hooligans

    Casuals United (February 12)

    Message from NWI – IRA Supporters and their lefty chums THINK they will be marching in Liverpool this coming Saturday morning, can all groups within range get there to oppose them. Times etc to follow NFSE

    North West Infidels – Extreme racists and nazi followers

    NWI (February 13)
    Nwi, Scouse Nationalist update

    After a conversation today with inspecter C.Breannen merseyside police, public order unit regarding upcoming events in liverpool. There has been some internet chat regarding a planned march this saturday by members of the republican flute bands, he goes on to say that, “this has been stoped due to possible breach of the peace”. He also stated that “its not happening” think thats a small step for nationalists. A giant leap back for Republicans.

    NWI (February 12)
    Game On (over picture saying “IRA Baby Killers not welcome in Liverpool)

    Supporter comment:
    “Dirty gypsies send them home to Eire Ulster is british and proud” under a link the article about racist attacks on Irish parades

    NWI (February 12)
    Demo against Islamic Extremism, demo against racist attacks on Whites, demo against paedos, demo against mosques, demo against mad Mo the dirty fucking paedo, demo against the murdering bastards that call themselves the IRA. Demo against everything. Demo demo demo!! Why?? Because we can. Ktf.

    NWI (February 11)
    When I was young I had no sense,
    I bought a flute for 50 pence,
    The only tune that I could play, was fuck the Pope and the I.R.A!!
    Oi oi!!

    English Defence League – Racist English nationalists

    Liverpool Division English Defence League (February 16)

    Poised like Gazelles in case sh*t goes down yall. Fu*k the IRA, Fuc* the liverpool/irish anti fa, f*ck slated and ya ma.

    Combined Ex Forces (CXF) – racist paramilitary organization of supposed to be ex -miltary

    Combined Exforces (February 12)

    Liverpool needs to be attended this Saturday and it needs to be attended in big numbers to stop the IRA marching again. Apparently it was being kept off ere but Ive seen a few posts so f*ck it lets rally everyone together, get to Liverpool Saturday

  7. I could sway either way on this issue but I must admit that the majority of BNP, National Front, Orange Lodge members I have met have been ill educated, Racist Morons whereas the leftist pro republican types tend to be better educated and more worldly.
    The average Scouser (of which I am one) wouldn’t really care enough to travel down to protest and i’m 100 per cent certain these people are Loyalist/Orange or out of town BNP/EDL etc.

  8. Lets not be fooled by the republican propaganda machine here and pulling quotes from Facebook. we could be here all day showing plenty of anti British/Protestant stuff from Irish social media,would that be classed as racism?
    I agree there are openly right wing groups protesting but what about ex services like the Kings regiment,British legion,local unionist/loyalists with strong connections to Ulster,have they no right to protest? its very simplistic to focus on the more vocal ones and ignore the reasons while people do not like these type of provocative marches, regardless of how harmless and innocent they are portrayed by there members.
    I do think it needs clarification of what this so called Irish racism is because as far as i am aware this issue only seems to rise when IRA remembrance parades and republican bands are in town there are no other Irish events targeted.
    Orange lodges have been marching in Liverpool for centuries and are entwined in the local history they are not glorifying UVF members and paramilitaries on the streets.sectarian clashes have happened but once again if Orange marches are attacked would all these get the same publicity?
    I have no agenda,i am not confusing Catholicism or being Irish/Liverpool Irish with militant republican parades i know the difference and it suits groups like cairde na eireann to promote their own agenda whilst using the race card as a tool to distract from what they are all about.
    CNE and the republican flute band social media sites delete any reasoning or comments they refuse to engage with anybody who disagrees with their political stance and this is already working against them as their traditional allies of the left in Liverpool are now starting to see the mask drop and the sectarian/Irish nationalist element creep into unions and socio-political movements which is exactly what this city does not need again.

  9. See, you are trying to demonize me as “the republican propaganda machine”, which I am certainly not. That is part of the problem here, you do actually confuse the terms Irish and republican.

    You say these marches are provocative but they are actually not provocative unless you are a loyalist or a British nationalist. That is why you oppose them. That would be like me opposing a gay pride parade – I would only find it offensive if I was against gays.

    I am not disputing people have a a right to protest if they object to something, but they have no right to be calling people “murderers”, “paedophile” or “Irish scum”. Again, an attempt to demonize everyone on the march. It is not simplistic to focus on the most vocal ones nor the ones who were throwing missiles. Everyone who is protesting is responsible for protesting in a legal and dignified manner.

    In 1996, a St Patrick’s Day Parade was attacked on Mount Pleasant and prevented from marching, The funny thing is, there was no flute band there. It was as a result of that day, that some Liverpool Irish decided they would form their own flute band. So what was the excuse that particular day?

    Some of the ex-Kings regiment protestors are actually members of the CXF. I would go as far as to say the King’s Regiment would not be happy with these people sullying their reputatuion.

    I have been in town during Orange marches and have seen and heard people shouting UVF/UDA slogans and anti-Catholic nonsense. I have seen people wearing T-shirts supporting Loyalist paramiltaries. I have seen sectarian chanting outside one of the ubiquitous Irish theme bars in the city. I have no problem with the Orange Lodge marching in the city but I do object to the blatant sectarianism that accompanies some of these marches.

  10. With regard to the ‘Spanish Civil War’ parade:

    Volunteer Sean ‘Maxi’ McIlvenna Republican Flute Band (Scotland):
    McIlvenna, (33) was an active Provisional IRA member and was killed during a gun battle with members of the RUC on 17 December 1984 near Blackwatertown, County Armagh. McIlvenna had undertaken a landmine attack on a UDR patrol vehicle.

    Volunteer Billy Reid RFB (Scotland):
    William “Billy” Reid was a volunteer and Staff Officer in C Company, Third Battalion of the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Reid was responsible for the death of the first British soldier killed in The Troubles, Gunner Robert Curtis of the British Army in New Lodge, Belfast on 6 February 1971; Curtis was the first on-duty British soldier to be killed in Ireland since the 1920s. Reid was killed as he attempted another ambush of British Army personnel.

    Volunteer Martin “Doco” Doherty RFB (Scotland):
    Doherty (11 July 1958 – 21 May 1994) was a volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who was shot dead while attempting to prevent a bombing by the Ulster Volunteer Force at an IRA fundraiser in Dublin. Photos of the paramilitary display at Doherty’s funeral appeared in Irish newspapers causing John Bruton, the leader of opposition party Fine Gael, to criticise the government during a debate in Dáil Éireann. Bruton called the display “appalling, provocative and dangerous for everybody living in this city”

    Coatbridge RFB (Scotland) has a large clenched fist on the bass drum. Flags of the IRA are normally based on tricolours some even bear weapons or clenched fists. These can still be seen in the more extremist areas.

    A large banner had the name and photograph of Scottish born Margaret Skinnider. She fought during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin as a sniper. Skinnider took part in action against the British Army at the Garrison at the College of Surgeons and St. Stephen’s Green. In her biography she proudly states “More than once I saw the man I aimed at fall”

    The Welsh Cambrai Drum Band only appears to support parades in honour of dead terrorists. As well as IRA parades in Liverpool, they also support the commemoration of Welsh terrorists Alwyn Jones, 22, and George Taylor, 37, dubbed “the Abergele Martyrs” after they killed themselves when a bomb they were carrying (meant to kill at Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales) detonated unexpectedly in 1969.

    There was also a hand written placard about someone ‘murdered’ by Greater Manchester Police?

    As you can see, all of the above was all relevant to the Spanish Civil War and not another reason to hoodwink Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside trade unionists and Liverpool residents into thinking it was yet another IRA parade!

    The parade in February 2012 that was called off by the police was to commemorate Sean Phelan. Phelan was a lieutenant in the IRA. Irish republicans in Liverpool want to commemorate an IRA gunman who was born in Liverpool and died in the Upton train attack in County Cork. However they probably prefer to forget the fact that the IRA squad of which he was a member murdered six civilians and wounded ten more in that attack back in February 1921.

    In July 2012, there was the ‘anti-racism parade’ where the black and ethnic minority groups in Liverpool 8 actually protested against the parade! Not forgetting it was also a trades union parade but at least one union branch attended with their banner – without knowledge of that branch!

    2010’s Sean Phelan parade was addressed by IRA killer Ray McCartney who was convicted of the murder of Detective Constable Patrick McNulty.

    2011 saw Danny Morrison, IRA member and Sinn Fein’s Director of Publicity as guest speaker of a James Larkin Society/Liverpool Irish Patriots RFB organised hunger strikers’ commemoration.

    Do I need to go on or will you accept the James Larkin Society, Liverpool Irish Patriots RFB and Cairde na hÉireann are nothing more than a front for, promote and show overt support for the IRA – the same IRA that bombed London, Guilford, Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington and yes, even Liverpool?

  11. Scouse Irish-
    I am not accusing you of being a republican propaganda machine.I appreciate your comments and feedback. i am stating we hear the same drilled response from sinn fein/CNE whenever anybody questions the motives of these marches.
    To promote these as “Liverpool Irish community parades” i think its the likes of yourself who is confusing Irish and republican here,these are political marches not cultural/community as if we are still using the internet as a guide the flute band members are from all over the UK and are very small in local numbers.
    As you mention you are not an IRA supporter but you will happily march alongside bands who are?
    To mention the Orange lodge marches here is diverting the issue if people shout “uvf” or “up the provos” that makes it all right then ? i sense your reasoning is if the orange lodge supporters can do it so can we.
    A little bit of information for you is that a junior Orange Band (or shall we call them them British community Parades!!) marching past the Liffy pub was subjected to sectarian abuse and had stuff thrown at them by republicans but when the main bands passed they shut the doors and hid i think if that’s the incident you mention is it any wonder loyalists where chanting outside?
    I live in Toxteth and have no interest in right wing nationalist politics and i don’t need a label pinned on me to be offended by Irish republican flute bands marching here.
    Its strange how the Marxist/communism element of your marches never seem to get a mention as well as im sure there is another debate there about Palestine/Israel issues but i do think this so called Irish racism is a convenient diversion from the simple fact that their are growing numbers of people who are now opposing your parades due to the fact they are seen as militant republican marches with IRA undertones.

  12. The Real James Larkin – could you please let us know what your own political agenda is here?

    I have two questions I want you to answer:

    The first question I would ask you is why was the 1996 parade attacked? No flute bands. No excuse really.

    The second question I would ask you is why are these far-right groups organizing these protests? Do you support the NF, NWI, CXF and EDL? If not, why stand beside them? Because they actually are openly racist organizations. There is no denying that. So why are they there? Why do so many come from outside Liverpool to attend these protests?? They come to cause trouble and whip up some racism.

    I can’t dispute some of the facts you have provided us regarding the names of the bands. I have recognised that this could be offensive to certain members of the public. Yes these bands are republican, but that is not illegal in itself. As I have said before, they all support the peace process(as far as I know). Danny Morrison is not a wanted criminal, although I may not agree with things he did in the past.You may dislike Sinn Feina dn what they stand for, but they are a mainstream political party within a democracy.

    You seem to suggest that people are not allowed to remember the the Irish rising of 1916, nor the War of Independence between 1919 and 1921 (in which Sean Phelan fought). Why is that? It is a huge part of Irish history and the modern Irish state would not exist without those events. The Queen, on her visit to Dublin, even attended the Garden of Remembrance which honours people who fought for Irish independence. They are historical events which need to be understood in the context of history. You can’t tell people they are not allowed to remember or celebrate them.

    Like I have tried to tell you, on these marches there is a wide range of political viewpoints. Some people are Irish republicans, yes. But other people on the marches are not and have their own reasons for marching. Some people are just Irish. So I still say it is lazy and misleading to label these marches “IRA marches”, and that is done for reasons of whipping up opposition to them.

    Southender, I was trying to point out that on some Orange marches, there are also extremists and offensive symbols or music. That should not mean all marchers are branded as extremist. Nor am I a marxist or a communist, although I know some people are on these marches. Like I say, there is a wide mix of people.

    These are not “militant republican” parades with IRA undertones. It would be more accurate to describe them as Irish parades with republican undertones due to the fact that they are republican flute bands leading them. But you have to remember that republicanism is simply an ideology that believes in a united Irish republic. It is not illegal to support this ideology and being a republican does not automatically mean you are an IRA supporter or “celebrate” violence or murder.

    The most worrying thing for me, and what makes me want to continue supporting these marches, is groups like the NF, NWI, CXF and EDL opposing them and attempting to dictate who can march on the streets of my city. They are racist thugs and are not welcome here.

  13. FAO Scouse Irish.

    There’s more than 2 questions in the 2 questions you wish to ask, here’s my replies to each:

    Would 1996 be the occasion where there was some on the roof of the Irish Centre in black berets and sunglasses?

    I don’t belong to or even know anyone from the groups you mention but I’m aware some were present due to the ‘national call out’ by anti-fascist groups.

    Many of the people I know who were present do not support any of the groups you mention. The protests I’ve attended were not organised by any of those – although they appear to have organised themselves in also attending.

    I’m quite happy for out-of-towners – some whose politics I despise – to protest against the 90% of out-of-towners who wish to walk through my city in support of the IRA.

    I’ve attended many protests; union demos, anti-racist demos, football related marches (Hillsborough and Michael Shields campaigns), even football matches where I care not about the politics or personal beliefs of fellow attendees.

    It’s quite worrying that you will support IRA parades just because of who might be protesting against them?

    The IRA in its various guises has killed thousands – not just British subjects – and no one who supports them has the right to walk British streets glorifying murdering terrorists.

  14. The Real James Larkin:

    You still lack the courage to be honest about who you really are or who/what you support.

    Now I also know you are a liar. Black berets and sunglasses on the roof of the Irish Centre? Really? Were you there or did you hear from a trusted source? Because it never happened. That is another smear attempt to justify unlawfully attacking a lawful march. So, if we don’t have flute bands to justify an attack, we have mystical people in black berets?

    Come to think of it, some of the CXF people actually were wearing black berets on your protest. I hope you objected.

    You keep calling these “IRA parades”, even when I have tried to explain they are not. So I am not marching to support the IRA – I am marching to support the local Irish communtiy in the face of racist and sectarian opposition. And will continue to do so. As you yourself say, “I don’t care about the political or personal beliefs of fellow attendees”, but I have my own reasons which I have tried to explain honestly on this thread.

    Maybe I should point out that you have been standing beside people who are openly nazi sympathizers. Need I remind you how many people, many thousands of British, who were murdered by the nazis? They also bombed our city, yet some of these clowns have no problem giving nazi slautes or signing off “88” on some of their posts.

    The banners I saw were National Front and North West Infidels. Both explicitly racist organizations. So to say that this report to highlight racism re-appearing on the streets of Liverpool is incorrect is another inconvenient truth for you.

    You don’t seem to take on board anything I have said but if you want to continue to brand us all “IRA sympathizers”, would you mind if I (incorrectly also) called you a “nazi sympathizer” because of your association with the far-right groups on your protest? That should demonize you sufficiently, don’t you think?

  15. FAO Scouse Irish

    “You still lack the courage to be honest about who you really are or who/what you support.”

    Don’t really know what you mean by this but a quick check on my background: A Labour voter and trade unionist for over 30 years, family includes Irish and Northern Irish (both Protestant and Roman Catholic). I have several friends I consider ‘best’ who are Roman Catholic and others who are members of the Orange Order although I’m not a member of the Orange Order or anything similar. I personally do not know any member of BNP, NF, EDL or NWI and would choose not to want to know but if they want to protest against the same things as me then I have no problem. I have no objection to CXF wearing regalia associated with their respective service.

    The IRA has bombed Liverpool, our Town Hall in fact as well as fired shots at our police.

    Ask Roger Phillips (Radio Merseyside) about the Irish Centre roof, he’s seen the same photos as me.

    None of the parades were legal under the terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2006 – a point made to Merseyside Police on the day of the parades.

    If the parades are not IRA, why have the names of IRA murderers prominently displayed – more prominent and in greater numbers than the alleged cause?

  16. Thanks, at least now I know who I am talking to.

    I don’t need to see photos of 1996, I was there. That parade was attacked and prevented from marching for no good reason. Around 100 loyalists and National Front turned up because they decided they did not want it to take place. And it didn’t, as a result.

    I have already commented on the historical names displayed on some banners and accepted that the names of some of the flute bands could cause offence to some people, so I do need to go into that any more.

    However, you seem to suggest that all Irish history should be swept under the carpet, which is interesting. The British Empire also did things that people are not too proud of today, but they should not be ashamed to be British because of that. That is the nature of history, it can’t be changed but needs to be viewed in the context of the time.

    I am not a legal expert, but I am sure if any of the marches weren’t legal Merseyside Police would do their job.

    I will turn your question back on you by asking if your protest was not racist in nature, then why were the National Front and North West Infidels banners and placards the most prominent? In fact, the only ones on display?

    Just as a point of note, the CXF “wearing regalia associated with their service” is incorrect. They wear hoodies and black berets as part of their own paramilitary uniform. If you check out the background of some of them, some were never even in the army, although some were. Their Liverpool leader was in the King’s Regiment but went AWOL and received a dishonourable discharge for theft. They are openly racist, especially towards asians.

  17. …. I found this quote in a thread from 2009. Substitute the words Glasgow, Scottish and Scotland for Liverpool, English and England. I couldn’t have improved the sentiment:

    “Anyway my position is this, The Orange Order have been marching in Glasgow for well over a century. I’m not going to tell them to stop doing it. I don’t find the Orange walk threatening. I do find the Irish Republican Marches threatening, but I don’t get it. If you are Irish and living in Scotland for whatever reason then I say welcome, join in the fun. But if you are Scottish and living in Scotland and your life is a pledge to Ireland then I feel quite justified in asking why don’t you live in Ireland? If that makes me a bigot, then I’m a bigot.”

  18. Or to paraphrase some of your fellow “not racist” protestors in Liverpool I should “f*ck off back to Ireland”?

    I rest my case.

    Just to clarify, should English people whose life is a pledge to Ulster also have to live there under this proposed “solution”?

  19. Didn’t you like the easily researched bit about the IRA blowing up Liverpool’s town hall or shooting at Liverpool policemen?

    I think the sentiment is correct but not the words I’d use if supporting those who murdered and maimed in the name of Ireland is your aim. I also think you’ll find my pledge is to Britain which includes Ulster.

    You evidently have a problem with Britain, why remain here?

    British people pledging themselves to Britain – wow! doesn’t that sound strange!

  20. Oh dear, you are letting the “not racist” mask slip a bit now.

    You are also displaying your ignorance of geography to say that Ulster is part of Britain. For your information, three counties of Ulster are in the Republic of Ireland and six make up Northern Ireland (nine in total). Also, if you check your passport you will see it says the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” – that would suggest that Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain, but part of the United Kingdom.

    A few other corrections for you, that wouldn’t be necessary if you had read what I have said in this thread. I don’t have any problem with Britain or England. You seem to think that being proud of one’s Irish heritage automatically makes them Anti-British. You do base your opinions a lot on stereotypes, don’t you?

    I am a proud scouser first and foremost and , unlike you, I have no problem with other scousers who want to celebrate their English, Scottish, Welsh, African or Chinese heritage. As a port city, we have a lot of different cultures here that are cherished by most people here.

    But I was born and live here, so what right do you have to tell me to leave? And just because I don’t agree with your opinions??

    You don’t like living in a democracy and free-thinking country, do you?

    You and your racist nazi friends will always try to dictate how people should act or think in “their country”.

    Your own quote ended saying “If that makes me a bigot, then I’m a bigot.” Well, yes you are. So I don’t see why you are objecting to this report in the first place. You just came on this page in an attempt to discredit it. But all you have done is shown further evidence of the underlying attitudes and bigotry identified. Well done, lad!

  21. You really are pedantic Scouse Irish. where does not wanting overt IRA celebrations make me racist?

    Thanks for the not-required geography lesson. today’s references to Ulster mean the part that’s in the UK (I abbreviated to make it easier for you to read – so it could be GB, Britain, Great Britain, UK, United Kingdom, or the full title you mentioned.

    I welcome other cultures to my city and enjoy celebrating the likes of the Chinese New Year, the Caribbean Carnival and all of the Patron Saint days of the UK, various international festicals – beer and food come to mind. Irish music (even though it’s a Scottish import that’s exported as Irish). I’ve even performed at Irish events.

    Why is it that we have here in Liverpool a group that feel offended when the majority do not want to see IRA murderers celebrated?

    There’s a big difference in celebrating a worldly culture and inviting the general public to take part and having bands named after and prominent banners with the names of Volunteer Sean ‘Doco’ Dohery, Volunteer Sean Phelan, Volunteer Martin ‘Maxi’ McIlvenna, Margaret Skinnider (don’t know why you dropped the ‘Volunteer’ prefix on this one), Volunteer Bobby Sands. Perhaps the article should have included this to make it a fair and reasonable report but hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good story!

    There’s a lot more to Irish culture than the IRA but that seems to be your sole celebratory aim.

    I certainly don’t aim to dictate to anyone but I will oppose anyone who wants to celebrate a group that has killed, maimed and bombed across the UK and Europe – not forgetting right here in Liverpool.

  22. Well, let me clarify for you. Telling someone who was born in Liverpool and lives in Liverpool to return to their country of heritage, because they are proud of that heritage, is racist. You have said that, therefore, you are racist. Could not be any clearer.

    You continue to brand everyone on these marches as IRA supporters, which as I have explained is a racist stereotype and a convenient label for people like you to oppose them.

    You go on to say “There’s a lot more to Irish culture than the IRA but that seems to be your sole celebratory aim”, again I have said numerous times in this thread that I am not celebrating the IRA nor I am myself an IRA sympathizer. Either you can’t follow a discussion or you can’t cope with your stereotype being challenged as incorrect?

    “Today’s references to Ulster” mean the part in the UK? In your world, perhaps. But it is inaccurate, so you did need the geography lesson to avoid making the same mistake. You also make another mistake saying that Irish music was imported from Scotland. They may have shared roots and certain trends may have been adopted from Scotland, but Irish music also has its own origins and is unique to Ireland. But therein lies your problem, you work on half-facts which leads to huge inaccuracies in a lot of what you say.

    If you want to “oppose anyone who wants to celebrate a group that has killed, maimed and bombed across the UK and Europe – not forgetting right here in Liverpool”, you should start with the nazi supporters you stand shoulder to shoulder with on these protests. They killed more British people than anyone else. And check out St Luke’s Church at the top of Bold Street, if you need a reminder!

  23. As stated several times above, bands with named after dead IRA volunteers, banners with dead IRA terrorists names – which part of this makes it difficult to perceive it wasn’t an IRA parade??

    If supporting those who overtly support and promote IRA terrorists – and you seem to not accept this! – and you’re asked to go to where it is deemed acceptable – where is that racist?

    Ulster, how many references to today’s meaning of the word Ulster do you also disagree with? Shall we start with TV and Radio?

    I’m sure even you know that the nazi supporters you refer to (and I call them that too) are British and not the same as the German political party of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, so that bit of stereotyping doesn’t wash either.

    You evidently know nothing about music history – something I’ve studied and played for many years. there’s a whole world of info at your finger tips, try looking.

  24. Yes , there is a whole world of information at your fingertips. But if you try to self-educate yourself through Google, you need to ensure you get all sides of the story and try to understand different points of view. Which you seem incapable of.

    I am also a musician, and have played traditional Irish music since I was a kid. Even academics cannot agree exactly on the roots and evolution of the music and there are different opinions. Would love to read your thesis on the topic if you would share it.

  25. Skip the points of your ‘argument’ that were proven incorrect. Where have I seen this before?

    I’m quite open for a point of view different to my own but am totally against having the IRA support openly on the streets of Liverpool whatever way you care to dress it up.

  26. You have not “proven” anything I have said incorrect. Nor have you been able to get beyond the fact that some of the bands on these marches are named after republicans.

    You have simply displayed a high level of ignorance, an inability to understand different views, and an arrogance to suggest that anyone who thinks differently to you is automatically a “terrorist supporter”.

    You deal in half-facts and conjecture and I am skipping points that I have already answered or addressed in this thread. You keep choosing to ignore my answers anyway and simply keep repeating the same mantra to justify your opposition to these marches.

    You can kid yourself and others that you are just there to oppose “IRA supporters”, but from other things you have said it is quite obvious that you hold certain condescending views and opinions about Ireland, Irish history and Irish people that reveals a huge amount of ignorance and/or prejudice.

  27. I very much doubt my friends and family from Dublin and Cork will agree with you!

    So, the murdering terrorists that the bands are named after are simply “republicans”?

    Please tell me if a band is named after an IRA terrorist, plays tunes about IRA terrorists, is dressed like an IRA terrorist and displays banners with photographs of IRA terrorists then they’re not really supporting and promoting the IRA terrorists, just ‘republicans’?

    You and your like may fool some of the gullible trade unionists, most of the anti-fascist organisations and some of the general public but most definitely not me!

  28. And so it continues. In your prejudiced mind we are all blood-thirsty IRA terrorist supporters who are anti-British. Not the case as i have explained at least three times now, but for some reason you want to pursue that line of enquiry.

    I am not trying to fool anyone. I tried to give my own personal point of view and reasons for supporting these marches in the face of fascist and rascist attacks. Which you have been part of.

    Yesterday, in Manchester a protest took place to protest against government cutbacks. This peaceful protest was attacked by the nazi North West Infidels. One of the groups you stand beside on your protests. Maybe at the next one, ask your friends what they have against English working class people opposing cuts.

    Some of the reasons they have given are that they were attacking “filthy lefties”. You see, they try to demonise anyone who is left wing as an enemy of the state. Guess what else they call them? You will love this – “IRA sympathizers” and “paedophiles”. Isn’t that interesting? That they would try to discredit a group of people and their opinions by giving them such labels? Now where have I seen that before?

  29. Some of the comments made earlier in terms of this debate, where seeming pro- working class clas,pro-Irish, pro-trade union movement sentiments then sit side by side with comments like ‘if the BNP,NF, EDl etc want to protest against the same things as me,then I have no problem “…….This one statement alone condemns him.
    The anti-Irish sentiments are similar in tone to comments made against Nelson Mandela and the ANC, when freedom was finally achieved in South Africa.also James Larkin was ‘ red and green’ , in terms of his rejection of the partition of Ireland and fought for that priciple all his life.

  30. I with my trade union branch was on the James Larkin march back in July,as we went through the south end of Liverpool,I did recognise one of the organisers of the fascist mob.
    I went to school with him, where he was known as a racist bigot.Also he has a record of ,surprise surprise, ‘ scabbing ‘ on industrial disputes and crossing picket lines.He loves the authority of bosses as much as he loves the authority of royal family.

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