gathering and scuttling in and around the Ulster Hall
in Belfast; the media stalling about outside the front
doors to capture that photograph or those few words
with the politicians of the hour. At 7.30 pm, as advertised,
Sinn Fein delegates and supporters filled the Ulster
Hall. The choice of venue was ironic. Instantly I
was thinking back to Paisleys stance alongside
Ulster Resistance within the same hall that Sinn Fein
now were calling - 'Save the Peace Process.'
this event was significantly important, it was still
running on what some say is "West Belfast time,"
which means very late - at least an hour behind. In
this case the excuse was that Peter Robinson had refused
to talk with Mr Martin McGuinness and the filming
he was due to participate in had not taken place.
Robinson had remained somewhere in the UTV building
earning his wage packet as a member of a power sharing
executive by refusing to talk to a fellow politician.
around 8.20 (ish) McGuinness walked into the Ulster
Hall - the place erupted into a standing ovation and
loud clapping along with the odd cheer. I was amazed
that this man was receiving such a welcome. The audience
lost slightly more and more of my respect as they
continued with their clapping cheers and odd mouthful
of rhetorical nonsense. (And that was before the Shinners
my naiveity I assumed that what McGuiness had to say
would be of value - possible strategies or attempts
to resolve this current crisis. I was however mistaken,
as all that my ears heard was the same old stuff only
on a different day. Delivering his speech McGuiness
did indeed convey scenes reminscent of days gone before
- the charismatic speaker attempting to mobilise the
masses. A pity that the information delivered was
is running away from the institutions, it is political
cowardice" - Martin McGuiness.
are told that unionism cant handle peace, change,
the increase in SF's mandate and how their representatives
remain silent when loyalism is still attacking and
murdering Catholics. This new and amazing news should
maybe have been leaked to UTV before this rally
for a newsflash.
a bunch of hypocrites
these words - referring of course to the demonised
unionist politicians - echoed around the Ulster Hall
- it then became harder to take these people serious.
Firstly Martin had informed the crowd that the true
heros of summer were the people of Short Strand. So
in that case where is the support from Mr McGuinness
for the families still living in a combat zone? When
I informed a Short Strand resident after the rally
of McGuinnesss praise for his community, his
response was 'where the hell are they when we need
them? - nowhere to be seen.'
unionists bringing down the political structure is
going to result in our children suffering (all our
children). Martin made sure to mention the Shankill
and Ballysillan also - after all its peace time.
the health system and education system both are going
to suffer greatly - I had a major urge to shout up
and ask McGuiness did the implementation of private
investment into both systems really truly benfit anyone?
movement understands political dynamics."
went on to implore the crowd that 'we keep our nerve'
and not to worry because soon there will be a referendum
whereby the then nationalist/catholic population could
vote for a United Ireland and when we
did so by 51% the British Government would have to
pack up and leave.
So the magic word had eventually found its way to
the podium; while observing McGuinness I was reminded
of those TV evangelists we see telling us how it really
is and what is going to happen to us.
was at this point that I realised how futile this
event was. A waste of my time. I indicated to the
journalist I had accompanied that Id had enough.
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