Monday, 27 August 2018

Richard Sullivan - Sunday World scribbler

Yesterday someone told me that a journalist had just attacked me in a newspaper,   Later on I discovered that they were wrong on two counts.

It wasn't a journalist, it was someone called Richard Sullivan and it wasn't a newspaper, it was the Sunday World.

Richard's column in the Sunday World was a reaction to the column I had written last Thursday in the Belfast Telegraph about the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and the Coalisland to Dungannon march in August 1968.

However this clearly irked Richard Sullivan  who failed to address anything of what I had written and simply got down to the level of:
To read former DUP MLA Nelson McCausland's haughty remarks this week was like consuming a poison from a bygone age. 
Nelson, who likes to describe himself as a commentator but who has never been anything other than the intellectual mouthpiece of extreme intolerance, likes nothing better than to look down on a movement he shamelessly connects with murder.
His diatribe in a newspaper column this week linking the Civil Rights Association with communism and bigotry while condemning the proponents of civil rights as 'incendiary' are the words of a man uncomfortable with the truth.
No doubt I will be the target next week of a pseudo-intellectual character assassination at the point of Nelson's pen.
Apart from the personal abuse he homes in on the word 'incendiary' and claims that  I condemned the proponents of civil rights as 'incendiary'.

What I actually said was that the speeches given in Dungannon that night by Gerry Fitt and Austin Curry were 'incendiary'.

Well that was the night when the late Gerry Fitt told an angry crowd, 'If one of those black bastards of the Northern Ireland Gestapo puts a hand on any man here.  I'll lead you through.' 

He described the RUC as the 'Gestapo' and as 'black bastards' and surely it is not unreasonable to describe that as incendiary.  Or is Richard Sullivan going to describe that language as perfectly acceptable?

Finally, just in case he thinks I am making up those words and attributing them to Gerry Fitt, which he might do, since he thinks I am 'uncomfortable with the truth', the words are copied from The Price of My Life by Bernadette Devlin, who was there on the night that Gerry Fitt said it.


  1. I read the article, I must point out that Fitt's contention that Ulster protestant is synonymous with Ulster Scot is simply not accurate. This is a gross oversimplification, the ancestral origins of Ulster protestant's were much more diverse and complex than this. Fitt showed a poor understanding of history when he made this statement, and unfortunately too many people still spout this false assumption up to the present day.

  2. Gerry Fitt was indeed confused about the history of the Ulster-Scots. What is significant is his confirmation that in the 1960s there were people who called themselves Ulster-Scots.


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