Loyalists in Belfast missing a trick.?(241 Posts)
Watching the news on the rioting in N.I. Aibu in thinking the loyalists could turn the whole flag raising and lowering business to their advantage?
Nobody really notices a flag up everyday iykwim but one hoisted for special occasions would get more attention. They could get the bugle out ,like Ypres,
and have a cake and pictures for really special days like Earl of Essex' B.D.
I agree Stonewelly, you get used to what is there all the time.
i assume this is a light hearted thread / joke
Police need to come down hard in extremists from both sides so the normal Irish majority, Protestants and Catholics can move on.
Just sad for the peace loving majority.
Fly both flags...
I'm in the peace loving majority but I hugely disagree with flying both flags! 1 that flag, to me and many other people, represents the south of ireland which is a different place altogether
I get really fed up with people referring to me as Irish not northern Irish and 2 imagine the bloody uproar among the extreme loyalists if an Irish flag flew on Belfast city hall!
The problem with not having the flag at the city hall is the much much larger Irish tricolour that is flown all year round illegally from the top of the Divis flats about a mile away. It is the most highly visible flag in Belfast but no one ha forced its removal hence the problem.
I thought it a poor political decision to remove the flag from the council(?) building except for specific days. The Union flag is hugely symbolic to half the population and is the National flag of all the population. Any idiot could see that this decision would have an impact on the community.
As you can see from my name I am not a loyalist supporter. I dont live in the North but I hope their political leaders can sit down and reach a better compromise. It is just such an emotive issue for so many.
It is no coincidence that Sinn Fein wanted the union flag removed as they could not bear to see the unionists enjoying the centenary of the Ulster convenant this year, the unionists are no better for allowing a pack of rabble out into the streets to throw petrol bombs at their own police force. Little to no point in politicians talking imo as they could not agree the time of day at the best of times. All the current political party leaders should be sacked being not fit for purpose imo. I am dreading this weekend when a major protest and countrywide stoppage is planned.
Well, I don't see how anyone could force that tricolour to be removed, there isn't anything illegal about flying flags from the roof of your house/flat.
It's just recreational rioting now, one of the people who appeared in court was a Polish baker, I doubt he gives a toss about flegs.
OP - YANBU, that would be much more fun and considerably more dignified.
The only flag that can be legally flown anywhere in N.I is the union flag, it has been that way since the 1970s when even the N.I flag was banned from flying due to protests from Sinn Fein. I do agree that the rioting is recreational and totally pointless.
bureni I don't think flying the tricolour is illegal!
I do agree that the rioting is recreational for some. But there is much more behind it obv. I honestly don't see an end to all this shit. People were raised to fight for the 'cause' and will raise their kids the same way, and they'll raise their kids the same way. It's all quite sad
Oh i didn't know that bureni ! Every day's a school day!
Someday The tricolour IS illegal in N.I as are all flags bar the union flag, this was agreed upon in the 1970s by all political parties when direct rule came into place. You need to ask yourself why a U.K country cannot fly its national flag yet the city of Belfast is awash with the flag of another country that goes unchallenged even though it is illegal. Do you think that people in mainland Britain would tolerate the removal of the union flag but have to tolerate the flag of another country taking preference, I do not think so.
I had heard the Union flag had been flown upside down for a long time, and it went unoticed.
My mums from Belfast, (Catholic) I think they should fly the Union and the Tricolor and the EU flag
cos it's pretty.
I wonder what will happen if and when Catholics were to become a majority?
I don,t think they,d vote to be parr of the free state.
Maybe a new flag for N.I?
Pathan afaik the tricolour is supposed to represent NI too. Green for Ireland, orange for the orange order and white in the middle for peace. I may be wrong though. It didn't go down too well anyway
Thepantan, Catholics are pretty much the majority now hence the council removing the flag but people always mix religion with political tags, not all unionists are protestant nor are all nationalists catholic. The Tricolour is not the flag of the country so why should it be flown?
someday, the tricolour does symbolise peace between the 2 main political parties but not countires or religion which often gets used as an excuse to wreck and ruin. You need to remember that Eire later to become ROI IN 1948 had its flag back on 1916 and that Ulster had it own flag since 1912 after the ulster covenant, Ireland or ROI as we know it now never left the commonwealth until 1948.
I need to brush up on my Irish history
It's nothing to do with the flag, really. The vote to reduce the number of days the flag flies was taken by the democratically elected council and a) was a compromise motion between the unionist politcians' preference of flying it everyday and the nationalist politicians' preference of never flying it and b) brings Belfast City Hall in line with most other civic buildings in the UK including, I believe, Westminster.
Other coucils in NI have taken the same decision over the years and no one took any notice. This was whipped into a frenzy by unionist politicians angry at losing a seat in Westminster to the Alliance party, who held the deciding vote. The hope was that if they made the unionist/loyalist community angry at Alliance, they would vote DUP or UUP at the next election. Presumably they now realise their strategy has failed given the level of disruption.
For what it's worth, the car I was in was attacked while I was on a driving lesson - a man jumped on the bonnet smashing the windscreen with a brick, bricks through the side windows etc. Not a flag in sight at that particular protest. For many, it's just an excuse to riot.
Well its not the flag of the province for sure, but the flag of the Island of Ireland, and I suppose for a fair few living in the North, it represents them.
I don,t see a problem flying both flags, surely parity of esteem is the way to go?
someday, its mad and hard to follow. I work all over Ireland and somedays travel 500-600 miles and I have yet to meet a nasty person bar the gits that put a rock through the back window of my car in Belfast last week. It is a mad situation when you consider that the Irish fought with the British through 2 world wars, perhaps we need another war or another tribe to fight with then we can all be Irish for a little while instead of beating the life out of each other.
Thepanthan, THE tricolur is the flag of ROI only , N.I has its own flag and always has but it is illegal to fly since it contains the royal crown of David which nationalist wrongly assumed was the royal crown hence it was removed to keep the peace.
I havn,t read it, but supposed to be a good peice in papers today about the alienation of working class protestant youth in N.I.
I know all my Belfast cousins (late 20,s through to 50) all studied at Uni, I think my Uncles/Aunts drummed it into them that they might not find employment as easy to find unless they were to emigrate.Only 2 did, the rest stayed and have professional careers.
Yes bureni, I,ve met the most lovely generous people in Belfast, from every community.
It really is shameful, the behaviour.
thepanthans, the last feud here was the funding of local youth boxing clubs, protestant boxing clubs did not receive any funding from the sports minister who is a hard line shinner as they were seperate from the Irish boxing clubs which cover all of Ireland, why should the British tax payer fund catholic only boxing clubs in the ROI and N.I or why should they fund ROI at all?
That really is awful, storing up a mountain of trouble for the future.
Of course, many still believe that Ireland is one country with six of her counties being occupied illegally by Great Britain. That will never change.
It stands to reason that people who believe this don't want to fly the Union flag.
So, you either fly the Union flag and antagonise the nationalists or you fly the Tricolour and antagonise the loyalists. I suppose you could fly both flags and antagonise both sides.
Or perhaps just don't fly any flag at all and try to live in peace.
Loyalists in Belfast missing ther bloody marbles more like!
Might I suggest for those of you on Facebook to search for 'Loyalists peaceful protest update' - it's an eye-opener
All this is why my wee family, despite protestations from dh's mum, extended family etc will never (as she puts it) "move back home". Dh left in 1988 for a reason, the children and I are Scottish.
All this mayhem over a bloody flag ? I've tried to understand NI, really I have. My dh is from an Ulster Protestant family, pretty middle class, and I just don't get it. At least when there's minor rioting in Glasgow, you know it was just the football!
YABVU OP but then again i am a unionist.
Its not just about the flag it is the fact that ex IRA scum is making these decisiontoto take away all that I British in our country. We pander (polticians and police) to this IRA agenda as they are afraid of the repercussions if they dont.
They want to rename the Royal Victoria Hospital and have named a park after a mass IRA murderer plus they are stopping orange marches and getting worked up over us celebrating the 100 years of our country.
This is not about a flag it is about removing all out culture and Britishness from the Island.
Also nationalists are starting the fights throwing bricks but the PSNI ignore that and just go for the unionists when they attack back.
Wow feels good saying that. I do cross community youth work and am not secterian in anywsy but it is nice to get my point across and that of many unionists.
It,s so complex and emotive.
Freud said the Irish are the only nationality it was impossible to analyse, if you ask them a question, they change the question.
Sadly, it will run on i think, if not flags, soething else.
soontobe, you make a fair point after all the same councillors that removed the union flag get their wages from the British tax payer not Dublin. If Dublin decides to pay their wages then they might have some say in the national flag they fly.
Lol dr even on bbc news it explains the nationalists from Short Strand threw the first bricks and petrol bombs. It was a peaceful protest until they struck out. ( I say this as someone who works within Short Strand and lives beside it)
I like you
But soontobe the decision was made by a democratically elected council. The loyalist rioters need to put their vote where their bricks are come the next election, and go home to leave people in peace in the meantime.
In 2011 in Glasgow alone there were 300 orange walks. That's in Glasgow alone - in Scotland for goodness sake.
I wish to hell they would all be banned. There's absolutely no need for this shite any more.
Thing is, whatever you may think of your councillors they are the elected representatives, that,s democracy I suppose (why I much prefer a good ole dictatorship).
No elected body can please all of the people, but, when most of the people are so diametrically oposed all of the time, it,s hard to see a way forward.
Yes, this week the nationalist scum threw bricks at the loyalist scum first. For the four weeks previous it was loyalist scum throwing bricks at just about anything, anyone they could. IMO, if you have a brick/petrol bomb/firework in your hand, your opinion becomes a lot less valid, whatever side you're on.
I can understand both sides in the flag debate wanting peaceful protest, but that's not what's happening.
I understand it was a democracy but it was Sinn Fein and SDLP who wanted it down All the time. DUP and UUP voted against it.
The issue is that Sinn Fein should never of brought it to vote in first place to come down fully.
Why can't they fly both flags every day?
get over yourselves!!
The thing is that to about half the population in northern Ireland, the union jack means You Are Not Welcome Here. And for the other half, the tricolour means the same thing. Nothing to do with flags is straightforward here as they are a symbol for national identity and we all know what as straightforward issue that is!
Btw just to say I do not agree with riots but I do understand why there is rioting. It is pissing me off (I couldnt get home at 10 on monday night due to the riots) but I can see why it is happening.
suburbaphobe why should we fly the Tricolour when we are British...also as stated its illgeal to fly the Irish flag. Thats worse than no flag. Tbh even I would riot at that.
You would riot? Good grief you need to get a life.
wonders why there is no fighting in Scotland do Scottish feel British? Random thought NI is more British than Scotland is atm.
Of course I would fight for my right to remain British. I dont want to be part of a failing economy.
I hate to be the one to break it to you soonto but...
George Osborne is making a hash of it.
As an outsider, I long for the day when northern Ireland can embrace both sides of its culture - Ireland and the UK are two great countries and it would be nice to see people focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Never gonna happen though, is it. Sigh.
I'm Scottish, but don't feel "British". That could be because I'm only second generation Scottish though and my family background is Irish, so I grew up listening to the Irish situation. It does definitely influence how I see Britain. Or I should say Britain's role in Ireland.
I just hope a peaceful resolution is found. There's been enough bloodshed.
That's interesting about the union flag being the only legal one.
I'm in a mixed marriage and due to my husband's name being obviously Catholic we had to stretch ourselves when buying a house so we didn't live in a flaggy / kerbstones painted area. Even with that, our next door neighbours put a huge union jack up where we could see it after we moved in. I'm protestant and it still made me anxious because it was so obviously done to make a point.
I personally would prefer that NI remains in the UK. I dont feel particularly British but I don't feel particularly Irish either, if the majority of the population of NI voted to split from the UK and join Ireland then fair enough. At the minute the flag is now flying on the same days as it does on Buckingham Palace if that's not good enough for the rioters then they need their heads examined.
I can hear the helicopter out, they must be kicking off again
I find it pretty ridiculous that the Loyalist community are shouting about their culture and how it is being diminshed because the flag won't fly everyday. It doesn't fly everyday in most places on the mainland, we don't feel any less British because of it!
I have to say that I am an outsider living in Belfast with no affiliations to either side. The real shame here is the amount of money being spent on policing all this trouble when we are in real economic dire straits and it could be better spent elsewhere. The rioters are showing themselves to be utterly selfish and totally uneducated IMO.
I am NI protestant and am really struggling to see what the problem is with the flag only be flown on certain days. Whether loyalists like it or not a large proportion of the population do not want the union jack up at all. Compromise has to be made. It was democratically decided that it wouldn't fly all the time. Accept it and move on, and focus on the real issue of why young people in loyalist areas feel its ok to riot- why have they been continually failed by society and what are the DUP doing about it???
I should also say- it would not bother me one bit if the Irish flag was to fly alongside the British in recognition of the fact that citizens in NI identify with both flags. NI will never move on if people on both sides don't get a grip.
Again the flag issue so lets study the facts, was there any protests or riots against the flag being there?.... answer.... no there was not, was there a political move made to remove the flag?.....answer , of course there was and it was well planned out to coincide with the Ulster Covenant. Folk need to remember that these Sinn Fein folk that opppose the union flag were also the convicted and time served terrorists than bombed the U.K during the 1980s and 1990s
"All the current political party leaders should be sacked being not fit for purpose imo."
totally agree. time NI moved into the 21st century and stopped pandering to terrorists, never mind having them in government. it needs completely overhauled IMO. new faces, new policies, new practices. no terrorists!
Goingveryslow, Yes, I echo your very valid point on waste of police rescources, it is a waste of time and money but just a mere drop in the ocean compared to the riots in England which cost millions within a couple of days.
Citizens of NI can have an Irish passport or a British one. So why can't they fly an Irish flag as well as a british one?
People screaming about this meaning that their culture and Britishness are being removed are just pathetic. You've already WON, you're in the UK, not Ireland. You have the pound, the Queen, you have the lot. Not flying a damn flag all the bloody time is affecting YOUR culture how?
thank you booyho, just sack the lot of them and let Dublin or should I say thier Brussels masters pick up the bill instead of the British tax payer.
Koyay, we have the pound and the Euro. Do you want a foreign flag over your capital city instead of your own national flag? Woud you feel offended by a foreign flag instead of your own national flag?
Bureni it's 'fleg' not 'flag'
Sorry, but it is a load of bollox.
Welsh and Scottish can fly their own flags in their own countries. NI is the Island or Ireland.
There is a share of power, now let's play nicely.
Monty, Scotland got its name from the invading Irish Scoti tribes so perhaps the Scottish should return to so called Ireland as well, what do you think?
You don't really have the Euro, some shops may accept it but thats business. Some shops in my capital city take the pound. Doesn't mean much.
We have flags from all sorts of places flying in our city. Why would that offend me? Thats because we're a modern nation who are well over our fighting and rioting.
Typical lies and obfuscation though..the issue is NOT about flying a foreign aflag INSTEAD of your own, it was about not flying the union flag all the time. You know, like the vast majority of UK cities. £7 million pounds wasted policing these riots....what a waste! And now they want to bring their "protests" here? They can bugger off and keep there mess to themselves.
That's interesting Bureni, I'm certainly intrigued by the sectarianism in Scotland (I've only been acquainted with it recently, in the last couple of years).
Yep, send them back, I agree.
Kobaya, the English riots which lasted 3 days cost 300 million in 2011, do the maths
bureni Yes but when you consider that the riots in England were pretty much a one off and only occurred once that year. Rioting occurs at least twice a year over here and both sides are guilty. IIRC the nationalists always kick off at the Ardoyne shops on the 12th July. It all adds up over here, then we have our lovely politicians complaining that NI is isolated financially and they don't receive enough funding!
Going there's more riots brewing, Stephen Lawrence's brother has taken a case out against the police for harassment....
Batten down the hatches. The riots here (England) have never been resolved.
goingveryslowly, the riots in England far exceeded anything that ever happened in N.I. N.I has the lowest crime rate of all of the U.K by a clean mile mostly down to having a proper equipped and trained police force that can deal with these situations.
Which 'side' to send back though? I'm not a historian, we didn't 'do' Scotland where I came from, and hence my ignorance.
But I do believe Ireland is Irish. All of it.
Why would I do any maths about English riots? I'm not English and I don't live there.
Obama's mother is white and part Irish, whats hard to understand there? Pretty sure the Irish never invaded then kept a whole section of America then complained about flying an American flag.........
Really, why do Americans mostly claim to be Irish then?
Monty 27, Ireland is Irish much in the same way that Scotland is Scottish and England is english, it is no different to Britain which has borders just like Ireland
They don't. Only the ones with Irish backgrounds. (about 12% of the population if you're interested).
And that would be because so many Irish people were starved out of their own country while their food was shipped to Britain and their families starved in ditches.
I think maybe people don't realise that the flag is not just the issue but the last straw iyswim, seeing ira terrorists in government , having marches banned for no good reason, having a play park named after a terrorist (can uou imagine suggesting a memorial to the 7/7 bombers in London or a park in New York named for the twin towers terrorists !)
IMHO the flag is the straw that broke the camels back and while I am happy for designated days I am pissed of that it was handled so badly and the decision taken right before Christmas - someone
republicans behind the scenes knew exactly what would happen and pulled the strings accordingly !
Monty 27 , there were more Scottish people displaced than Irish during the famine which was a European famine not just an Irish famine like the history books (biased) like to record.
So you don't believe in Scotland and Wales being different countries? As with NI it belongs to that Island of Ireland.
Rubbish. Thats absolute nonsense. Did any other country lose half its population? No.
"seeing IRA terrorists in government" What do you only want your own terrorists in government? Doesn't seem fair.
The European famine happened in the fourteenth century.
Kobaya, can you name any terrorists in government , because I can name ALL the convicted IRA terrorists including the IRA terrorists that hold office after bombing Manchester, the same people who oppose the union flag but are on the British tax payers pay roll. So name names if you want or you can?
allyourbooks, try to get up to speed, there was more than one ffs.
I am not from Dublin nor did i celebrate their terrorist victory so I have no need to apologise to anyone.
Your post is still incorrect regardless.
Why are you getting so wound up?
Biogtry lol, you must be having a laugh. I never took the flag down
Do you think that people in mainland Britain would tolerate the removal of the union flag but have to tolerate the flag of another country taking preference, I do not think so.
We don't care.
I live in a very multicultural area, lots of the shops display flags of other countries, more to indicate what they sell than anything else.
So the Indian grocer has a Polish flag so that Polish people know they can buy Polish food there.
When there is an international football tornament flags are everywher, most are the England flag but not all,
This always happens in these types of discussions.
I hope you can let go of all that hate bureni, most of us have moved on.
I'm still awaiting your sources re the Famine. In your own good time dear.
Koya, I live mostly in a place called Balinna in Mayo so does that tell you something?
It tells me you don't know how to spell Ballina.
squoosh ref famine scotland
oops yer right it was the wrong spelling, lovely place though.
Can I pop over and put the German flag up in Westminster, or across London??
Then you might see how ridiculous the suggestion of a tricolour across NI is!! Do you want full scale mayhem?
And some people on here really do not know a lot about NI.
Wikipedia is your source????
I meant an academic source.
whats wrong with wilki, do you not agree with it
There is no suggestion of a tricolour across NI, yet again <sigh>. And what has Germany got to do with it? I think you have your metaphor rather backwards.
because the ticolour is the most common flag in Belfast, that might have something to do with the problem
I am a protestant, I have a catholic friend. Together we make amzing decisions.....
May we please be the new government of NI??
We promise to beat the daylights out of any nonsense the other spouts....all discussions will be settled with the excellent common sense approach.
So come now all votes for holidays as first minister...!!
Wikipedia tells me their was a Highland famine, hardly news, everyone knows that. I was asking for sources to support your statement
'there were more Scottish people displaced than Irish during the famine which was a European famine not just an Irish famine like the history books (biased) like to record.'
yer in there mate, do you have any cheap fegs like
No bureni it wasn't, kobayas it was a few pages back where they suggested flying both beside each other as a compromise. I used the example of a german flag beside a union jack in london to show how inflammatory it would be. I can imagine the riot there wud be if it was tried.
And more importantly I'd just love to see evidence of your reports of Dubliners 'flag waving and joy' at the collapse of the Twin Towers.
I think it depends where you live. I don't see many tricolour flags and I'm in West Belfast.
I do see a lot of red white and blue when traveling about though.
Lot's of murals all around from both side, which I hate.
I think thats because Britain went to war with Germany when they were invading countries and committing genocide. Since it would be the union flag that represented invasion and genocide next to the tricolour, it would be inflammatory for reasons that you don't seem to grasp.
Squoosh, there were as many people displaced from Scotland as there was Ireland during the famine and the bulk of the people displaced from Ireland was down to irish landlords, methinks we are singing from the same sheet but have different options as to the source. Either way what happened was bad for all concerned.
I think your missing the point entirely but never mind. I was pointing out that the compromise suggested, far from improving the current situation in northern ireland it would only make it work.
Personally I see no reason why a ni flag cannot be recreated. Just like wales have the dragon etc. Wud suit all sides
Worse not work! That shud have said.
Its late so night night.
kobaya , I do live in N.I and am not lying, anyone on this planet can get any Irish passport, they are ten pence a dozen fgs
If you have such disdain for Ireland and Irish people I've really got to ask, why inflict yourself on the people of Mayo?
because I lived there most of my life, does that count ? but then again I forgot you cannot be a protestant and Irish so my mistake.
'I forgot you cannot be a protestant and Irish so my mistake'
Pretty sure no one has said that. As that would be obtuse, wouldn't it Bureni?
I am a New Yorker who was studying and living in Dublin at the time of the Sept 11 attacks. I had a close family member working in the WTC (he escaped unharmed) and spent that day and the days following it in a state of horror.
I would absolutely, definitely have noticed and remembered if there had been a single report of 'celebrations and flag waving' in Dublin at that awful time. There was not. That is a complete lie, further evidenced by the fact that the person who made the claim hasn't been able to back it up despite being asked to do so.
bureni you are coming across as an ignorant bigot whose only purpose for being on this thread is to scapegoat and demonise the Irish and minimise any part of their history (i.e. the Famine) that people might be sympathetic to. Your ignorance about American immigration history, and your pathetic 'ffs' comment that a black person can't possibly be Irish as well, are just plain embarrassing, but your claim about Dublin on 9/11 is really disgraceful.
Wow, this has all gotten really nasty, we are kind of proving the rest of the worlds point about ourselves aren't we?
Let's not be hateful.
x post with Linus.
I agree that 9/11 post was very strange and in bad taste, Perhaps MNHQ can remove it?
Oh bureni you've truly run out of 'arguments' when all you can do is tell people to go away. Why don't you go the whole hog and close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears.
Great post Linus by the way.
Excellent rebuttal, bureni. Really eloquent, and you did well to prove that you're not a bigot at all .
Just one thing, you forgot to include the link to your source about celebrations in Dublin on 9/11. Wiki will do, or even an internet rumour that you fell for. Maybe Snopes, to show that other people think that too? Anything at all to illustrate that you didn't just make it up yourself to characterise the Irish as heartless terrorism sympathisers.
I'm off now. Must 'run along and read book', if I can manage it
now where did I put Angela's Ashes.
But would New Yorkers admit that they did fund IRA terrorists who committed terrorist crimes against the U.K and would they also admit that they blocked the disclosure of the Boston tapes that would implicate known IRA terrorists who happened to be British politicians who funny enough happen to be the same terrorists and convicted terrorists who took the union flag down in Belfast?
More bigotry in this thread than I've come across in 5 years living in Northern Ireland.
Oh, and I'm from Dublin. There was no cheering and flag waving on 9/11, there was a national day of mourning.
I think what we can conclude from this thread is that there are conspiracy theorists everywhere in the world who feel that people are working against them. The problem is that here in Northern Ireland they get more publicity than in other countries as they have a cause to hide behind.
The main concern of the majority of Northern Ireland is that our country can't afford to spend all this time and money debating a flag. Our politicians need to be able to concentrate on economic and social issues which will improve the lives of everyone living in Northern Ireland. Ministers are having to cancel important meetings in order to spend time debating violence caused by a small minority.
Sein fein DID raise funds in the USA, no doubt of that, however I am struggling to see the link between this and 9 11.
N.I is part of britain therfore should be aloud to fly the union jack. i see no need for a tri colour beside it.
im from scotland but i would say im british before scottish,
terrible to see yet more trouble over the water, but it goes alot deeper than simply the flag they fly
<sigh> As always it's a very small minority giving the rest of us bad name. Don't judge us all by the bigots.
I have a huge amount of respect for Naomi Long and I will be voting for her again at the next election, not only because of this but because when I contacted 3 MP's with a question, she got me an answer the same day. I waited 2 weeks for a letter from a unionist to say he'd look into it and the other never replied at all. So not all our politicians are useless
I agree with a PP on the fact that these threads often show how little people understand about NI. And that's no slight on them- unless you live here or do your own reading on the subject you can't begin to understand the nuances of Northern Irish society, not from the occasional three minute slot on the national news.
Flying the tricolour alongside is not a viable option. Although it may represent some people in some areas culturally, politically we are British. They have the mandate, employ the highest proportion of public sector workers within the UK, bankroll our depressing need for a segregated society....etc. And it will stay that way until the people of Northern Ireland vote for that to change.
As soon as this happens and we can vote for a North Belfast (or whatever) representative in the Dail or the Oireachtas then I'll wholeheartedly support the flying of the tricolour. Until then....it's not the same. And if you think this rioting is bad, just try and put the ROI on the same level as the Union flag.
Just to clarify and I may well be wrong but I have double checked It is not illegal to fly a Tricolour in NI. The only flags that are illegal are illegal organisations flags ie paramilitary flags.
If I want to hang a Spanish/Italian/Welsh etc etc flag outside my home or from my window that is not illegal, it may be provocative conduct (legally) in certain circumstances but per se flying a flag of another country isn't illegal.
Its exactly the same as hanging a football flag from your window legally. Which is why if for example a line of flags is hung down a road there is very little the Police can do about it - its a Council issue. In the same way that Tricolours are flown from houses at Easter - not illegal.
Bratinghampalace - I would prefer if you did not refer to the place that I live, have always lived, that my family live in and I have chosen to raise my own family in, as "that bloody place".
My suggestion is that we consult the Norn Iron census and fly the flegs of every country with a citizen present here in the name of inclusion
am I a genious or what?:-)
Apologies if someone has already posted this:
Slat - i am from there. And it is a bloody place. Figuratively and literally. I choose to leave it and not raise my family there. Too many have died and too many are bitter.
And no matter which side you are on it should be utterly embarrassing and almost humiliating to have Bureni posting like that. Although it could be used to show the uninitiated just how crude and basic the whole issue really is.
My dh and had a phone convo about it this evening (he's on-call).
His thinking - (remember he grew up in Belfast, went to grammar school in the city centre etc, he knows it, which is why he chose to leave half his life ago!).
Until this is over, we don't visit. His mum lives in a naice bit of Belfast but has been held up en route home (like just down the road) by burning tyre barricades etc. We had thought about going at Easter, were planning a definite visit in June. But I will NOT, and neither will he, expose our children to the experience of sitting tying to get past burning barricades in the street. It's not normal. I don't care who builds them, I'm not going to put myself in a position to put up with them. Over a flag that no one else in Btpritain sees flown any more often than is being planned.
His comment - "I left the bloody place because of that, I'm not ever going back to it". Personally, I think NI is the poorer for the people, like him, who left because of the troubles. But most of them aren't returning.
Bratinghampalace - please do not think for one moment that I was or am defending Bureni's comments. I took exception to my home being referred to as "that bloody place". Whist I fully appreciate that we must have had differing experiences of living here I think it's unfair to lambast an entire country for the actions of a minority.
I live in Northern Ireland and I am proud to do so. That will not change because of the current protests.
Yes, agree, northern Ireland osa wonderful place to live. There has been no trouble that I've seen for the last two night, and since Christmas it's been confined to one small area. Interestingly, before Christmas when the trouble was much more widespread, there was far less news coverage than there is now.
Northern Ireland can be a great place to live and bring up children, we are actually hoping to move back because of the great education system, HOWEVER, when we went back for christmas I did notice how parochial it is, lots of middle class snobs, lots of middle class church goers who are always harping on about sending their grammar school educated young people to Africa but do nothing to help the socially deprived three miles up the road from their lovely houses in South Belfast.
Weegie, no harm like, but any time there's a NI thread you post about how your DP is from here and how it's awful and how you'll never live here....you're entitled to your opinion, but you're massively overstating what's going on at the moment.
The trouble is pretty much confined to small areas in one part of Belfast. I'm in the north of the city and there has been literally no trouble (or even protests) since before Christmas. A few more weeks and it'll have blown over, unless something else happens to fan the flames.
Yes, some people here are morons. But it's the same everywhere, and unfortunately NI has a troubled past that isn't going to be helped by our best and brightest leaving and then putting us down to everyone who'll listen. Stop being so bloody defeatist, everyone!
NI is a great place to live if you are comfortably off and can live well away from the trouble spots, really wouldn't fancy being in one of the deprived areas for numerous reasons.
Scarlett, that is avoidable and you get that wherever you go. Belfast is so diverse now, and so cosmapolitan that its easily avoided.
You would get that anywhere, i found that in England, (no offence to anyone) its only Human Nature. Where i live, i can assure you that that doesn't happen, and my son goes to a grammar school and that doesn't happen in his school either! xx
I have lots of friends at home who are well educated, non bigots and open minded, however, equally the religious right do seem to be very much alive and kicking and so much more so than in Scotland.
Scarlett, i'm a single mother with a mortgage, a job, and a car. I also live away from the "trouble spots"
Just like everyone else really x
Can i also add, my home has 3 bedrooms, front and a lovely back garden with my own drive and a garage.
Yes I know people don't want to hear that my dh (born and bred NI) and I don't want to live there.
It's parochial, every time we go I'm having to explain flags, kerbstones, attitudes in church etc to my kids.
I'll keep it that way thanks. Glasgow might be bigoted but we're not worried about our safety.
And bigheartedwoman if you think NI is better without my dh, well then you're happy to deprive where you are of a dedicated, talented doctor who is prepared to work in any community, however deprived, and does so, just without the sectarianism. Your loss. Not ours. I'm wondering just how threatened you feel by people who have travelled, lived elsewhere and see that the world, even he UK is a lot bigger than NI.
Well I'm glad you think he can stay where e is cos he left in 1988 with the intention of never returning. Can see why now.
Yes, I was wondering if anyone would point out the irony of leaving NI because it's bigoted and then moving to....Glasgow. Hmm.
Weegie- you are coming across as the less well educated now. That's great you married a doctor. What do you do?
Good for you and your family
I wish you well.
Bet he went to methody.........
Yes come live in Glasgow and tell me it's more/as bigoted. Have you lived here? He's lived in Belfat, Edinburgh, NW Scotland and Glasgow. He'd choose 3 out of the 4 again. Clue: it's not in Scotland.
This is getting pretty close to the chat rules on personal attacks I think. Let's see how it goes?
Scarlett -close but no cigar. He's always said the methody girls had nice legs though!
(he went to Inst)
Clearly the northern Irish humour hasn't rubbed off.
Oh my believe me there's plenty of bigotry in Glasgow.
As I posted earlier, there were 300, yes THREE HUNDRED orange walks in the City in 2011. It's a fecking disgrace.
The vast majority of people don't want them. They really don't. Just as, I have no doubt, the majority of people in NI don't want to go back to The Troubles.
It's 2012 and we all need to strive for peace.
Ah well, I'm a weegie doctor who lives in NI now, very happily settled here, so it all evens out in the end. The people I know with the biggest hang ups about who NI should belong to, which side is most to blame, what religion people are etc are invariably from Glasgow! And I mix in very similar types of social circles.
It's a bit like people thinking Glasgow is Stab City, gets a bit boring after a while. Most people here are just getting on with their lives peacefully.
<makes mental note to live somewhere with a good reputation at some point>
Scarlett, my dh is pretty impressed he married a teacher who works with illiterate young mums from nasty housing estates and their children - and doesn't escape to the posh suburbs after either.
I don't care what he does. I care that he gives a shit about the people he works with.
Now you can keep slagging him off about his opinions on where he came from, but don't insult his professionalism or my reasons for marrying him. I'm not a snob, he's not a bigot. But I can't expect to explain that here.
Ok Weegie, maybe we've been a bit harsh, but you have to look at it from our point of view. This is our home. Yeah, things are a bit shit right now, but we'd been doing grand up until recently. Then you come along and make vastly overblown statements about not wanting your kids to see burning tyre barricades whilst visiting their granny. The only time that's ever happened to me was around the time of bloody Drumcree and I don't live in the most salubrious of areas!
Everyone just chill ti' fuck [passes around buckfast]. Fwiw I went to BRA. Those ankle length skirts were much classier than those shows from Methody.
When exactly did I say anything negative about your husband? But why exactly it is even relevant what you or he does to the problems in NI? No one else has felt the need to ask for a pat on the back because they do worthy jobs! You have no idea what I do, it could be considered 'worthy' and I have a law degree from queens, but I am not arrogant enough to believe the population of NI are missing out by me living in Edinburgh. God love them.....
Ok bighearted, how do you I'm not a professional? I'm a very senior professional teacher, but maybe you don't rate that?
I've travelled round the world, worked abroad as has dh. We came "home" to a city neither of us came from (though I'm Scottish).
Some people are very offended that dh chose to study in Sctland rather than NI and make his home here. Including his mother and family friends. You probably agree I'm the evil foreign woman kerping him away. Believe me, that's not true.
Didn't you know you can only drink buckfast as a recreational drink in Scotland?
No! They get our graduates, we get their Bucky. 'Tis only fair.
I don't think anyone outside his ma is losing any sleep over your husband moving to Glasgow. Really.
I know it's your home. I'm sorry. I'd be going nuts if you said stuff about Scotland.
But my mil was here 3 weeks ago and then, there were burning barricades 500m from her (posh) South Belfast home. Why should I let my children see that (she wanted s to come for New Year).
I don't want my children exposed to that, but she lives on a sensitive divide between communities. I have to think about how scared that would make my 9yo!
Weegie, that is not the case, I told you that your husbands remarks offended me, and the way you describe yourself is your own image of yourself.
May i just say that you said "foreign" not me.
That is your opinion, and you are wrong.
Oh And for the record, i'm a highly educated woman in teaching also, i would like to think that your students aren't educated by your views
But yet you have said you live in a deprived and presumably segregated area of Glasgow, work with deprived mothers, so presumably your son is exposed to a less pleasant side of life, yet you feel he would be upset by a few tyres burning? Really?
Well luckily NI politics doesn't encroach on the basic literacy and numeracy work I currently do, with women from all communities, Protestant, catholic, Muslim, anything. I just teach them to read and count.
Probably just as well, as if you don't come from there it's impossible to get it in any meaningful way, no matter how hard you try.
Scarlett, deprived in Glasgow does not automatically mean segregated. Really it doesn't.
'you feel he would be upset by a few tyres burning? Really?'
Has your idea of normal been so warped by living in N Ireland that you can be blasé about that?
I'm ready for the fall out but I do have to go to bed now. I have cross community / religion / nationality women to teach in the morning. They can't read, that's what unites them. They don't care, otherwise!
Yep even on orange march days or old firm match days, I've never seen burning barricades in Glasgow like I have in Belfast!
(and it's my 9yo daughter I'm worried about seeing the barricades, as well as my 11yo ds and 13yo dd. How would you explain it?
I don't think Belfast has a monopoly on tyre burning, to be fair. It's not normal even here, but I guess we have a stab at explaining to our weans what's going on. Much like those people in London, Birmingham, etc. last year who experienced the same thing, also through no choice of their own.
My point is, you are bringing your son up in an area where there will be numerous social problems. Presumably you will be teaching him that not everyone is as fortunate as he is to have such amazing parents, so therefore he should be able to cope with the fact that tyres burning is just another unpleasant thing. I also presume he goes to school in this deprived area you have said you are living in??
You mean the summer of 2011? It's been that long. Rioting/trouble in N Ireland is a lot more frequent than that isn't it?
Weegie, you are helping others, for that i applaud you
However, you and your husband, but mainly you come and parrot your husbands feelings about this wonderful place. Your 9 year old daughter would love it here, (as far as i know, all the 9 year olds here love it) but what you are doing and have done is denigrate it.
Thats just wrong and unfair.
I don't believe that a doctor and teacher are sending their children to school in one of the deprived areas of Glasgow. That just doesn't happen.
Well that's exactly my point.... Because if they were, the child would be able to cope with a tyre burning, especially if they had no concept of why it was burning....
Bureni SP you can well remember the flag waving and joy in Dublin when the Twin Towers in New York got hit?
I was in Dublin when 911 happened. I remember it very clearly. I saw no such behaviour. I saw shock and panic and bewilderment. Where was all the flag waving and joy that you saw?
I'm with you craicdealer - BRA girl here too & agree our uniforms were much classier than Methody
I do think its very hard for those who aren't brought up in NI to fully appreciate what it's like for people there & understand how deeply feelings run (on both sides). The flag issue was the final straw for many (obviously) & although I don't agree with rioting, I do hope it means that the issue of disaffected Protestant youths will be looked at & addressed as that will benefit society as a whole!
Although I did leave NI after graduating, I still think its an amazing, beautiful country where the vast majority if the population are peace loving & as always, it's the small minority (from both sides) who ruin things!
Weegiesmum - I do think your issues sound very personal with regard to your DHs family rather than NI & sounds like its given you the perfect excuse not to visit (sounds like ultimate MIL/DIL situation going on there!).
Well yes we are.
We chose our community, our place, so yes we do. And we're by no means alone.
2 other GPs children are in my dd1s class. From out local community.
They did primary elsewhere (before we moved) but we've chosen the local secondary now.
Rioting in N Ireland in Sept 2012 uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/uk-irish-rioting-talks-idUKBRE8841G620120905
Rioting in N Ireland in Dec 2012
Rioting in N Ireland in Jan 2013
Especially a parent who went to an NI Grammar school and will be more than aware of the differences between schools.
I notice you always appear on these threads weggie- I'm sooo glad you always pop up to remind us that we live in Satans arsehole, surrounded by burning barricades and people singing the sash while they make petrol bombs.
By the way, I do love how you always neglect to mention the good things about NI society. My DP for example- like your dh, he went to inst and left in 2007. Unlike your dh however, he didn't have the benefit of bring from a naice neighbourhood in south Belfast- he's from a shitty estate in the north. But he went to that school and got the exact same education as sons who father's were millionaires. This is what I think represents the people of NI- someone was talking about middle class snobs up thread and it's completely alien to me. The NI I know is not the picture you falsely represent. I fear you've either been misinformed or are over dramatising the situation- but to sit and continuously insult our home is unfair, especially when it's blatant you know nothing about us except for outdated stereotypes.
I honestly do think that some people outside NI think we spend most of our days peering through the curtains to make sure there isn't some horde walking menacingly down the street waving petrol bombs.
Often there is a bit of trouble in one area around the 12th- whole other issue. Rioting is generally localised and contained by a brilliantly well trained police force on the rare times it does happen. On a day to day basis Northern Ireland is as safe and "normal" to live in as any other part of the UK. I've lived in Belfast my whole life and have never been caught up in a riot situation. Ever. And neither has anyone I know.
I'm not saying we riot less than the English(!) but it's certainly not par for the course. That's why it's on the news.
The biggest threat to peace at the moment isn't the burning tyres or the stopping of traffic by these protestors. It's the quieter, more deadly, activities of other groups who conspire to kill innocent people on their way to work that I'm worried about.
Well you do surprise me, Weegie. I apologise for doubting you.
I thought you perhaps sent your to an independent school or lived somewhere that whilst the surrounding area may be deprived, you actually lived in a neighbouring area if you see what I mean. For example you living in Bearsden as opposed to its next door neighbour Drumchapel.
Narked, you're missing the point. I can also link to riots in London, etc.
If you can link to NI for its hospitality and beauty, fair enough.
But you won't.
The countryside is beautiful. The painted kerbs aren't.
And it's not that friendly when you have an Irish name and an English accent
An interesting thread. I was in Belfast visiting family last week and was sad to hear about the economic impact of the recent protests. A lot of businesses in the city centre rely strongly on the Christmas period to make ends meet and of course they lost out on custom. They're really suffering.
Made in Belfast, a favourite of mine, is rumoured to be closing soon because they couldn't afford the lean Christmas they ended up having. We made a point of going, both to try and help out and to get one last fix if it does shut. Such a damn shame. They probably employ about a dozen staff at that place, some of them must be Protestant. I bet nobody asked them whether they'd rather have a job or a flag. I needed to get some work clothes and had planned to get them in Belfast last Friday. My friend's cousin owns a bar and his takings were down in December too. He's left in a position where he'd have to lay off two staff if he paid his rates, and he won't do it. Can't blame him. I urge any MNers who can afford it to spend in Belfast city centre. We must support local businesses and jobs! NI needs investment, jobs, opportunities. Not bits of fucking cloth. And that applies just as much to the tricolour as the union jack. Although no doubt anyone who owns a flag shop has done well enough out of this fucking fiasco.
Oh, bureni is talking mostly rubbish but she's right about there being famines in a lot of European countries in the 1840s. I vaguely remember it from a lecture in the distant past. I don't know whether Ireland lost the most people in purely numerical terms, but it did in percentage terms. The controversial thing is how the famine was managed. As with most famines, there was food available but it wasn't distributed in such a way as to prevent starvation. The British government initially tried to help by funding public works programmes in Ireland, which helped a bit by providing an income for many workers. Then it stopped, and everything went tits up. Grotesque, neglectful mismanagement and millions paid the price because of the economic diktats of the time.
Lastly, someone made a point about the Irish flag on the Divis Flats. I can see why that might piss off some in the PUL community, as it is no doubt intended to, but there's a difference between people flying flags from their homes and those in public buildings.
Just realised I cut out a sentence or two above! When I said about the clothes, I meant I had planned to get them in Belfast rather than at home, again in order to support city centre jobs. But the day I wanted to go in, Friday, things were kicking off a bit and my family advised me not to bother. They (correctly) predicted the buses wouldn't be running. I'd have probably only spent £50-100, but that's a day's wage for someone that now won't go into a local economy that desperately needs it. bloody frustrating and senseless. I worry about what this will do to the NI tourist industry.
While I do support the right of the democratically elected leaders to do what they were elected to do, one has to wonder whether this couldn't have waited til January when city centre businesses are quieter anyway. It didn't take a genius to see that this was going to kick off. And now there are people who'll lose their jobs and livelihoods. That should help NI society no end.
* I can name ALL the convicted IRA terrorists*
I can also name all the Unionist politicians involved in terrorism and those who were involved in the Vanguard movement. But it is a waste of time as things have moved on.
In a few words you have expressed what is wrong with the bigots of both colours, utterly one eyed and obsessed with the past.
Personally I agree with Eamon Collins, himself a former IRA man, who said he was encouraged to see ex-terrorists involved in the political process rather than continuing in their previous occupation. They are less dangerous inside Stormont than they were outside. I can see how it must be pretty galling for those who lost loved ones, though, and do feel that those who suffered during the Troubles have every right to be stuck in the past. I would be, and am humbled by those who aren't.
Aye, it's the terrorists from the old days that you don't see, that are keeping their heads down and either planning more attacks or biding their time we ought to be worried about. Whatever you say about Martin Guinness, Gerry Adams et al, it's in their interests to make this work.
As always when discussing NI we're going through the history again.
I've been trying not to comment but I feel that I really must correct this which Bureni wrote a few pages back
"It is a mad situation when you consider that the Irish fought with the British through 2 world wars,"
Those people from the republic who joined the British army and fought nazism in the Second War War were abominably treated when they returned. It was the policy of the Republic's government to see to it that they could not find a job.
A fair point conference but then the other side could point to the routine discrimination in housing and employment that existed in Northern Ireland until comparatively recently . Both sides have greivences some real some imagined . we could spent from now until eternity rehashing them and have learned nothing.
or maybe they could get a design committee to design a New Northern Irish flag that reflects both traditions and the peace process and fly that. it would be a minefield but they managed it in South Africa
My grandad fought for England during the first world war. When he left Ireland was part of Britain, when he came back there had been an uprising and they were well on their way to independence. Like most of the men he left Ireland to go to war with, it was a choice made out of dire poverty. It was not about supporting the British at all. They all enlisted for food, clothes and a warm place to sleep at night.
When he returned all he had was his British army uniform which was a dangerous thing at best. One month after returning he went down to Cork and got on the first boat getting out of there. He never regretted it.
My grandad also fought for England during WW1. He and his brother were in the Connaught Rangers.
They were not in dire poverty, they were from the well educated middle classes, who enlisted/were recruited on the promise of Home Rule after the fighting. They were lied to. Churchill was a hate figure in our house...
Hence why the regiment rebelled in India when martial law was imposed in Ireland, and was disbanded on the creation of the Irish Free State.
I know that all of you have replied to me are right. I was just trying to correct one small item.
I was trying to make the point that history isn't that much use to use. Moaning about the past when bad things were done on all sides won't help now. We should be concentrating on the now.
Thought it was stupid to change flag arrangements. Like a red rag to a bull. Ffs things had quitened down in the North. Now i wouldn't visit NI to see Titanic exhibition as i had planned - wouldn't feel safe. What a shame.
No way was there flag waving and celebrations in Dublin after 9/11.
Shock and sorrow yes. The president of ireland at the time made a very emotive speech. I didn't vote for her but she did capture the (irish) public mood at the the time . Appalled at some of the comments on this thread
Spud, honestly the rioting is very localised. Please don't be put off visiting. I was there last week, was even in the city centre on one of the nights it kicked off, and was absolutely fine.
See this is what drives me insane - we can't just keep our heads down and try not to upset those who are eejits enough to block roads, ruin peoples businesses.
Who cares if changing the flag was a red rag to a bull? It was a decision made by democratically elected representatives. That is the way forward, not - being afraid of change incase those as thick as champ decide to riot and throw all their toys out of the pram.
I freaking love Belfast. Just back from the pub for operation sit in - people avoiding tonight's protests by going out for drinks/food and spending money in city centre businesses who've suffered during the flegs saga. Had a lovely Friday night drink or two when normally I would've just gone home. Not many other cities where people would react like that I reckon.
Oh, and definitely come top the titanic museum, you'd be extremely unlucky to even see anything bad, never mind actually be affected.
Good for you Stokes!
Wigglesrock I see your point, but I think the people whose businesses have suffered and who might lose their jobs because of the protests probably care quite a lot. I agree that it's perfectly legitimate for democratically elected reps to do what they were elected to do. Just wish things could have been timed in a way that didn't arse up the local economy quite so spectacularly. The one doesn't have to preclude the other. I don't see how leaving it a month amounts to being afraid.
Fair enough chunderella just have to agree to disagree
I guess I just can't see for the life of me how anything would've been compromised by leaving it til this week instead.
Because the whole idea of postponing incase people decided to riot if it didn't "go their way" is in my opinion letting mob rule win. The number of days the Union flag is flown is already limited in other NI cities, nobody was out rioting then.
Ok. To me, letting mob rule win would be to not do it at all. And it's not like it was an 'in case' really, is it? Everyone knew what was going to happen, might as well schedule it for the convenience of the rest of the population.
What an utterly sad, depressing thread this is.
Threads on NI always are LBE
Unfortunately there is an entire new generation who don't remember how awful the troubles were, and this is an excuse for a bit of excitement .
Just like all ds's friends (and probably him) had decided to head to Dublin tomorrow to jeer the Unionists marching in O'Connell Street (thankfully the march has been cancelled).
Ignorant feckers the lot of them.
You're absolutely right Maryz
At least someone there had the sense to cancel the march in Dublin. I just don't understand why a unionist march in Dublin?
I suppose it's no different to the orange walks in Glasgow though. I wish Glasgow City Council would have the guts to ban the orange walks there. The vast majority of people (I'm sure in Ireland as well as Scotland) don't want them. They want to live their lives peacefully with their neighbour, go out to work, pay the bills and raise their family.
Instead of this they're terrorised by these total eejits - on both sides of the divide.
It would make you weep.
I really do hope it's over soon.
DH got sent home early from work today thanks to "project stand still" or whatever these numpties are calling it.
I hate him going to work in town when all this is happening.
Apostropheuse I think they were planning to do it to make a point. They see them asking another country to remove their flag as no different to people whose allegiance is to another country (ie nationalists in NI) asking them in Belfast to remove theirs. I heard ROI doesn't fly their flag all the time though and it won't actually be up this weekend!
I see people's points about this thread being depressing, but have also seen some really positive contributions too. I hadn't heard about Operation Sit In and am really thrilled that people are taking positive actions. A couple of my relatives have jobs in Belfast City Centre, I want to thank you for doing what you can to help them.
For anyone in Belfast - there is a peace gathering tomorrow at 12:30 outside City Hall. I was at the last one and it was great - lovely atmosphere, people from all walks of life, loads of families etc. There was no intimidation, other protestors etc. If you're around, you should think about coming down. At the end, there's a 5 minute non-silence - the silent majority making themselves heard.
Bumping this for our later MNetters who may wish to attend The Peace Gathering tomorrow.
BBC NI are reporting that after running out of plastic bullets last night, the PSNI threw a copy of the Belfast Telegraph jobs section, into the middle of the protesters, who then fled in terror.....
We left after the Omagh bomb, and were delighted to go. We live in France now with two dcs. When we drove off the ferry at Larne last July my ds said "Oh paradise!". They love NI with a passion, and have made me see it through new eyes - the loveliness of the people, the gorgeous countryside, the fantastic amenities, the stacks of things to do with dcs ( check out the grim reality of living in France with youngs dcs on the Living Overseas thread).
It is heartbreaking to see these demons emerge again.
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