Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Rasharkin Residents Collective (3)

The antipathy and indeed venom of the Rasharkin Residents Collective (RRC) towards Sinn Fein is well illustrated by this post from their Facebook page.

Sean Murray, the person whom started all the trouble in Rasharkin and who stated at a public meeting 7 years ago that he would have the Ballymaconnelly parade stopped within 5 years, he has since failed to deliver, he also attends regular meetings of the RRA.  Bullied the chairman last year to the extent he felt so intimidated that he left.  Now the coward is passing the blame unto us, who is trying to deliver his out of date promise, by saying we are opposing the peace process and the new Policing!  We note also that the local MLA has also run away to Strabane, he recently sent out a letter in which he stated that Rasharkin would end up the same as Crumlin without Dialogue, he said the last time the Old Order paraded here there was toruble, we note that day that Mr McKay was across the Border.  Will he abandon the people of Rasharkin next year as well for the comfort of the Policing Board!

I have copied the post as it was written, poor grammar and all, as it is a fascinating account of developments in Rasharkin as well as the struggle between Sinn Fein and the dissident voices in the RRC.   Here are the five main points that can be extracted from the RRC post:

1. The opposition to parades in Rasharkin was 'started' by Sean Murray of Sinn Fein at a public meeting seven years ago.
2. Murray promised that he would get the annual band parade stopped within five years.
3. Sean Murray continues to work closely with the mainstream Rasharkin Residents Association and attends their regular meetings.
4. The RRC is deeply critical of Sean Murray and the North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay
5. Sinn Fein accuse the RRC of being opposed to the 'peace process and the new policicng' of the PSNI..

That is what the Rasharkin Residents Collective are saying in just one of their posts and there is a wealth of information on their Facebook page.


  1. The 2001 Census defines Rasharkin as a "hamlet" with a population of less than one thousand. This band parade involves a very large number of "kick the Pope" loyalist bands and hundreds of their knuckle dragging supporters swaggering through this tiny place where Catholics make up some 73% of the population. Ballymena has a population of some twenty eight times that of Rasharkin. I presume, Nelson, that in the spirit of upholding the right to free assembly, you would welcome and indeed support a parade through the centre of Ballymena, where Protestants make up some 73% of the population, of several hundred "beat it up you" republican bands and hordes of their equally knuckle dragging supporters. And if not, why not?

  2. Your comment has little connection with the substance of my post, which is about the dynamics within republicanism in Rasharkin.

    As regards the bands and spectators, I know a number of people from North Antrim who play in these bands and they are anything but 'knuckle dragging'. They are actually very good musicians and some of them are professional people with very good jobs. I have posted your comment but it is actually very offensive.

  3. Nelson, your post is indeed about the dynamics within republicanism in Rasharkin; but the issue which has highlighted these divisions is that of loyalist parades in the village so my comments are entirely relevant to your post. Leaving that aside, I know you are a politician but it would be nice if you would answer the question I raised in my post. Would you support the right of republicans to have a large parade through the centre of Ballymena, complete with hordes of "enthusiastic" supporters, Irish tricolours etc?

    1. If you check the website of the Parades Commission you will find that there are nationalist parades in a number of towns that are predominantly unionist and these parades do carry Irish tricolours. The problem with many republican parades is the inclusion of people carrying replica guns,the depiction of masked gunmen on both the drums of some of the bands and the depiction of IRA men with guns on the banners of some of the Sinn Fein groups.


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