|Stormont Minister, Nelson McCausland|
In his Blog, McCausland names me and the Republican Network For Unity (RNU) as being 'associated' with Ardoyne Republican Blogspot that reported on the NBCRA march & rally. I can assure anyone with full confidence that I, Martin Óg Meehan, am the Author. The overwhelming majority of posts are mine, although at times, I have published posts for fellow Republicans. Hence, the only email published is, email@example.com. Regards RNU, I am a proud member of the Network and also use my blog to promote the Party from time to time.
According to Nelson, NBCRA is a 'front for smaller Republican groups in North Belfast'. In two previous marches, the SDLP and Provisional Sinn Fein also took part alongside Community Workers. He rightly states that the Association is supported by RNU & the Sean MacDiarmada Society. Why wouldn't RNU and the Society support the aims of a group that aims to end discrimination in housing and leisure provision in the area? As for the NBCRA being a front, the Association has been in existence for a number of years and has actively highlighted the need for more decent homes for local people. NBCRA have held a number of events and is supported by various Residents Groups and Community and Political Groups, as is the norm in any community.
The two bands who participated in part of the march left because they did not want to offend anyone in the City Centre or St. Patrick's Chapel. Unlike Nelson's colleagues in the Orange Order and Flute Bands who regularly parade past the church where they are not welcome. I for one thought it was a very mature decision and was welcomed by the organisers. If only the Loyal Orders and Loyalist Bands would adopt a similar approach tensions would not be what they are across Belfast.
|Nelson complete with his sectarian Sash|
The Minister claims, 'the truth is that there is no discrimination against Roman Catholics in housing in North Belfast - the number of Protestants on the waiting list is roughly the same as the number of Roman Catholics'. A bold statement to make, when homes have three generations living together, young families are have little choice but live in tower-blocks, thousands of residents are forced to pay high-rents to unscrupulous landlords who exploit tenants and the list goes on. Surprisingly his DSD Department of which he leads, handed back over £17million which was meant for new social housing and maintenance. Leaving thousands of families on the waiting list and Housing Campaigners angry at McCausland who has ignored their plight.
I notice the DUP MLA failed to address the severe lack of leisure and health provision in his recent post, I wonder why? Maybe he already knows the truth that Nationalist North Belfast have little in the way of decent leisure facilities. Mr. McCausland is a former Belfast City Councillor is well-aware that the best of modern soccer pitches, parks and leisure centres are housed in Unionist districts. The Council has for generations clearly discriminated against Nationalist ratepayers. So long as North Belfast residents, endure the above injustices. The North Belfast Civil Rights Association, RNU and other organisations who are against discrimination will advocate on their behalf.