It’s fashionable these days to denounce Charlie Haughey as a hypocrite, a forerunner of the greed that brought the south of Ireland to its knees, probably into a bit of gun-running as well. But whatever you think of Haughey, one phrase of his has stood the test of time. “A failed state” was how he described Northern Ireland, and it looks as though Lisburn City Council, as well as a few others, are intent on proving him right.
Lisburn’s latest brainwave is to grant the freedom of the city to the Orange Order. That’s the fine body of men among whose numbers are counted those who paraded in a circle outside St Patrick’s Church on the Twelfth while playing the Famine Song. And in case we missed the point, Loyal Order bands recently paraded again in direct defiance of the Parades’ Commission’s ruling that they must not. But then Lisburn has previous, as they say. Didn’t they construct a nice big memorial in the city to the men and women of the UDR who did so much to develop community relations in our divided society?
Add to this the stance of the DUP, in the person of Jonathan Craig this morning on Radio Ulster/Raidio Uladh, where he refused to criticize these brave law-breakers but instead criticized the PSNI’s representative, who’d said he thought the Parades’ Commission rulings should be observed, at least until something better was in place.
Charlie, thou should'st be living at this hour. Here we are, fourteen years on from the Good Friday Agreement, and the desire among some sections of unionism to stick it to the Croppies burns as brightly as it ever burned in the bosoms of their bigoted forefathers.