Surely, Catholic civil rights might have been secured without killing anybody? Civil rights for blacks in the US came about largely through peaceful protest and civil disobedience, an approach based on Gandhi's successful strategy for pursuing Indian independence. Granted, Britain's hysterical desire to stop the bombings doubtless hastened the satisfaction of Catholic grievances. By the 1980s, Ulster Catholics had the finest public housing in Europe, and the highest number of leisure centres per capita in the UK, while working-class Protestant enclaves were still ailing. Anti-discrimination bodies overseeing employment were already vigilant and aggressive. It might have taken a bit longer, but these remedies were all doable without blowing anybody up.
It takes a lot to set me off in some sort of nationalist rant, but the fact that Shriver has managed this twice has to mean something. How dare those civil rights groups get aggressive! Catholics should have been happy to take whatever crumbs they were given! In fact, all my Belfast relatives should have just stayed there enjoying their leisure centres rather than bugger off to a place - England - where they might actually be employed. You know, Unionists are, justifiably, very fond of demanding apologies for decades of nationalist violence, and rightly so. But do you think we're ever going to hear Orangemen and other Unionists apologise for several decades of anti-Catholic discrimination? Or for gerrymandering? I really, really doubt it. And let's get back to this bit:
Surely, Catholic civil rights might have been secured without killing anybody?
You'd think, wouldn't you? Especially in the Bogside, in 1972. Except wait, the nationalists were the only people who ever killed anyone, weren't they? So let's forget that little incident never happened! After all, the army wanted to. I don't think the 'Ra's violence was ever justified. But can I understand why it happened? Yes, I can, especially when I see footage of Bloody Sunday. Doesn't mean I agree with it, by any stretch of the imagination, or condone it. But understanding that violence doesn't usually happen out of the blue is obviously too much for Shriver.
During the dozen years I lived in Belfast, I offended more locals than I can count.
You don't say.