Northern Irish police investigates ‘Arabic’ European Union flag


European Union flag

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ulster resident calls police over ‘Arabic emblem’ that turns out to be EU flag

Police confirm that they investigated misguided complaint against flag flown to mark Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent

Monday 29 September 2014 20.04 BST

A resident of Rory McIlroy’s hometown in Northern Ireland complained to the police about an EU flag erected to mark Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph because they thought it was an Arabic emblem, it has emerged.

And let us suppose it would have been a real Arabic flag. Would that have been an indicator of crime which police need to investigate?

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed on Monday evening that they had to investigate a complaint against the yellow stars and blue background of the EU banner in Holywood, County Down.

The man who put up the EU flag, to celebrate Europe defeating the United States at Gleneagles, revealed on Facebook earlier on Monday that two police officers turned up at his door in the town now synonymous with McIlroy.

He posted on Facebook: “Right in shock here. Had a Ryder Cup party yesterday and just had the police round … as apparently it’s caused offence.

“Apparently person who complained thought it was an Arabic flag.”

The PSNI said its officers had become involved following the complaint.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police in Holywood attended an address in the Woodlands area yesterday following the report from a member of the public that a flag they believed to be offensive had been erected. Police attended and no offence was detected.”

The EU flag-waving golf fan at the centre of the investigation did not want to be named but described the complaint as crazy. He said he told the PSNI at his house that the flag was flying in honour of the European golf team and particularly Ulster golfing stars McIlory and Graeme McDowell.

Local councillor for the non-sectarian Alliance party and former North Down mayor Andrew Muir said the complaint should be placed in the category of “you couldn’t make it up” stories.

Muir said: “It’s rather depressing that we would be focused upon flags. People are entitled to fly whatever legal flag they want from their house and in Northern Ireland we need to be able to celebrate our success and the European flag is an open, inclusive symbol of Europe coming together.”

The flying of flags is a contentious issue in Northern Ireland, none more so than in Belfast. For the last two years there have been Ulster loyalist protests at the gates of Belfast City Hall because the local council voted to restrict the flying of the union flag.

Until the end of 2012 Belfast city council flew the union flag atop the dome of City Hall 365 days per year. Nationalist and republican councillors tried to ban the flying of the flag entirely but a compromise was hit upon whereby the red, white and blue would be flown on 18 designated days including the Queen’s two birthdays.

Protests in the months just after the flag policy changed resulted in riots and dozens of arrests.

Save Irish Rathlin island golden hares, petition


This video says about itself:

Rathlin’s Golden Hare, Ireland

22 June 2008

Join Wyllie O Hagan in an evening encounter with Ireland’s Award Winning Wildlife Photographer Tom Mc Donnell.

See Rathlin Island from a photographer’s viewpoint. You will have seen Rathlin Island‘s seals, puffins and bird sanctuary before. Here we share with Youtubers the first video recorded sighting of the Island’s famous “Golden Hare”. Wyllie O Hagan filmed this footage of the hare on Rathlin Island in May 2008.

It was an extraordinary event, and this is the inspiration for O Hagan’s next relief print which will accompany “The Wild Swans at Coole“.

See the artist make the print here.

From the 38 Degrees site, this petition:

Save Rathlin Island Hares

To: Minister Mark Durkan, DOE

Make Rathlin Island into a hare reserve and reintroduce special protection for hares in Northern Ireland.

Why is this important?

This is important because the hare is being hunted out of existence on Rathlin, with a shooter being brought in by local farmers – apparently hares eat too much grass and are considered a pest. This beautiful animal is an integral part of our wildlife and heritage. Rathlin used to be one of its strongholds in Northern Ireland and people still come from all over the world to see these animals, including the rare genetic variant – the Golden Hare. Surely these amazing animals have a right to survival on their island home, where we can enjoy them for years to come. Once they are gone, like in so many other places in Northern Ireland, they are gone. Please help us protect them before it’s too late.

Northern Ireland child abuse covered up?


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Ian Paisley involved in Kincora Boy’s Home cover-up scandal

7 December 2012

Ian Paisley admits he knew of the abuse at Kincora Boy’s home in Belfast and did nothing.

By Paddy McGuffin:

Kincora child abuse allegations: Amnesty demands Official Secrets Act suspension to allow ex-spies to give evidence

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Ex-soldier claims he was ordered to shelve investigation into Northern Ireland boys’ home

Amnesty International called for the suspension of the Official Secrets Act yesterday to enable former intelligence officers to give evidence during the government’s child abuse inquiry.

The call follows claims by an ex-soldier involved in military intelligence that he was told to shelve an investigation into sexual abuse at a boys’ home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

Home Secretary Theresa May has faced widespread calls from politicians and lobbyists to include the Kincora Boys’ Home in the child abuse inquiry following revelations about serial sex offenders including Jimmy Savile.

The inquiry was set up to examine how public bodies handled their duty of care to protect children from predatory paedophiles.

Brian Gemmell said he was ordered to halt his probe into Kincora by a senior MI5 officer in 1975 after presenting a report on the allegations.

Mr Gemmell said he found out about the abuse through two sources, including an agent called Royal Flush, while he was gathering information about loyalist paramilitaries.

“I was summoned to go and see him (the MI5 officer). I went up thinking he was going to be pleased with me,” he said.

“He bawled me out. He was rude and offensive and hostile. He told me not just to stop any investigation into Kincora, but to drop Royal Flush.”

Another former army officer Colin Wallace has previously said any new investigation of Kincora must have access to information from intelligence agencies.

In 1981 three senior care staff at the east Belfast boys’ home were jailed for abusing 11 children and it has been claimed that people of the “highest profile” were connected.

Amnesty International Northern Ireland director Patrick Corrigan said: “The focus must be the protection of children, rather than officials and their dirty secrets.”

Mr Corrigan added: “The Home Secretary must announce the inclusion of Kincora in the inquiry and an exemption so that army officers and others bound by the Official Secrets Act can finally speak freely.”

A public inquiry in Northern Ireland into institutional child abuse between 1922 and 1995, which is sitting in Banbridge, faced possible suspension last month due to a lack of funds.

The Kincora scandal: ‘MI5 tried to blackmail Belfast homosexual,’ says whistleblower: here.

Anti-Semitic violence in Belfast condemned


This video is called Belfast Synagogue.

From the Sinn Fein site in Ireland:

Kelly condemns synagogue attacks

21 July, 2014 – by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has condemned outright an attack on a synagogue in north Belfast.

Speaking after windows at the synagogue on Somerton Road were smashed at the weekend, the North Belfast MLA said:

“I condemn outright this attack on the synagogue on Somerton Road.

“There can be no place for attacks on any place of worship, regardless of the religion or denomination.

“The local Jewish community makes a valuable contribution to our society and there is no justification for hate crimes.

“If anyone has any information on these attacks then they should contact the PSNI.”

Ku Klux Klan interview on BBC


This video from the USA is about the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Protests were also held outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in Belfast yesterday over the publicly funded corporation’s decision to interview a Ku Klux Klan member on Wednesday’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

Belfast Trades Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Youth said the BBC’s decision beggars belief.

“The KKK are renowned for lynching people because of the colour of their skin. There can be no justification for these racist, divisive, reactionary beliefs nor should they be given the oxygen of publicity by the largest broadcaster on these islands,” they said.

Anti-Polish xenophobic crime in Northern Ireland


This is a video about Combat 18, a British neo-nazi terrorist organisation responsible for much violence in Northern Ireland.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Poland’s envoy concerned by attacks on Polish families in east Belfast

Jerome Mullan to hold talks with Police Service of Northern Ireland over rise in assaults and hate crimes

Henry McDonald

Monday 5 May 2014 20.07 BST

Poland‘s diplomatic representative to Northern Ireland has expressed concern over a spike in xenophobic attacks on Polish families in Belfast.

The Polish consul is to hold talks with the Police Service of Northern Ireland on Tuesday over the rise in assaults and hate crimes directed at the Polish population in the city. Three homes where Polish families lived were attacked in east Belfast over the weekend with windows smashed and graffiti sprayed on hoardings with the words “locals only”.

The PSNI has blamed the Ulster Volunteer Force for orchestrating the attacks which have also been directed at Africans and Romanians in recent months.

According to police figures there has been a 40% in increase in race and hate crimes in the region but mainly focused on greater Belfast.

In response the PSNI has set up Operation Orion, a new police unit that will target those behind hate crimes.

Jerome Mullan, the Polish consul, condemned those responsible for the attacks.

“The families are frightened and they don’t understand why this has happened to them I’m concerned about where we are going and we have to get it stopped,” he said.

“It is very sad when you have these continued attacks taking place, they’ve been going on for far too long now.”

Polish community worker Eva Grossman said: “Yet again Northern Ireland is gaining the reputation as the hate crime capital of Europe.”

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Racist crime in Northern Ireland


This video is called Racist Hate Crime in Northern Ireland.

From UTV in Northern Ireland:

15-strong gang carry out racist attack

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A man has lost two teeth after he and two others were targeted in a racist attack in east Belfast.

Two men in their early 20s and a 19-year-old woman, all from Eastern Europe, were assaulted by a gang of around 15 people at waste ground near Lawnmount Street on Monday between 9pm and 9.30pm.

The gang – which included one woman – assaulted the victims with golf clubs leaving them with bruising and cuts, while one man lost two teeth.

Police are treating it as a race hate crime and are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the attack to contact them on the new non-emergency number 101.

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