I have posted previously about the Irish Law & Democracy Committee, whose members were on the Crumlin Road on 12 July for the Twelfth parade and again last Saturday for the Apprentice Boys parade.
As we were waiting for the Apprentice boys to come down from Ligoniel an ILDC 'human rights observer' came across the road witha video camera and took close-up footage of people from the unionist community including myself. This is the man who took that footage.
The same person appears in a 13 minute youtube 'documentary' about the Twelfth evening at Ardoyne. It is fronted by Joe Gilmartin from Nenagh in county Tipperary and it is noticeable that it opens with Gilmartin standing in front of a republican mural featuring Vol Paddy McAdorey, who was named in the Daily Mirror in November 2007 as having been one of the men who murdered the Three Scottish Soldiers at Ligoniel. The newspaper also named Martin Meehan as one of the killers. The mural also features Vol Terence 'Cleeky' Clarke, who was jailed in 1988 for the murder of two Army corporals. That is the background Gilmartin chose for the start of his little 'documentary'.
The 13 minute 'documentary' includes interviews with two ILDC members and this is what the person pictured above says in the first section of interview:
I've lived here all my life, really, I'm nearly fifty and I remember the parades when I was very, very very young. I used to live about a mile and a half from here and the Orangemen every year, there were thousands of them, used to come down parts of the Crumlin Road, down the Cliftonville and around where I lived.
They used to have the police and the security forces and to have the road sealed off for hours and hours and hours before it. This is completely different. It's smaller numbers, its not as inconvenient to the community as it was. But it's still wrong to have what is basically and a lot of people ... and I agree with it .. this is like a racist, supremacist march through an area where it's not wanted. It seems to be illegitimate.
The people who march in this parade wouldn't be in this area 364 days of the rest of the year. Why they're allowed to march down these roads other than as an act of provocation I can't really understand.
Well the view of the ILDC about Orange Order parades is very clear. They see them as 'racist, supremacist marches'. They certainly don't seem to understand the concept of an independent human rights observer.
The views expressed by the interviewee are particularly nasty. They are partisan and poisonous. Here is someone who sees his neighbours in Upper Ardoyne and Ballysillan as racists and supremacists. The problem here is not about parades - it is about relationships and when we hear views such as this, who can argue with that assessment?
The ILDC member also says that the people in the lodges 'wouldn't be in the area for the other 364 days of the year. That is a blatant lie and pure propaganda. The fact is that most of the lodge members use the Crumlin Road every day and some of them live in Upper Ardoyne, with most of the rest living in the Ballysillan area. In fact some of them even lived in Ardoyne until they were forced out by republicans at the start of the Troubles.
If you want to view the video clip yourself you can google it at "Ardoyne documenary 2012" and it would be interesting to know who the 'human rights observer' is and what 'human rights' expertise he has.