Kevin MacDaid: a victim of peace?

By Paul – UCD Frank Ryan Society

All who have heard of the recent brutal murder on Sunday of father of four Kevin MacDaid have been sickened. The details of the sectarian attack however merely display the inherent problems within the puppet state created by Britain. These are problems that have never been resolved, that are still ignored and that continue to take lives.

Mr MacDaid was not a paramilitary leader, a well known politician or notorious public figure. He was not murdered for who he was. He was murdered for what he was. A Catholic. There was no other motivation or requirement for him being selected by a sectarian mob. We are now being treated in the aftermath of the abhorrent attack to the usual litany of token expressions of remorse. However I would like to look at the initial reaction from the local DUP councillor Aidan MacQuillan, a reaction he has now apologised for but one which strips away the media spin to reveal the true nature of the state to which he has such a profound loyalty.

When asked for a reaction to the murder he stated: “what reason was there for tricolours up yesterday afternoon, a Sunday? None other than to get a reaction from the loyalist community and they certainly got a reaction this time which is very sad”. It would seem that the flying of the Irish flag in Ireland is now an offence that justifies death. The fact that Kevin was actually attempting to quell the disturbances when he was murdered wasn’t mentioned. Just another dead Taig to the good god fearing men of the ‘Democratic’ Unionist Party. Why should they mourn the death of Mr MacDaid for they have been raised in a state that has been created to ensure people like him will always be subjugated. It is this fact that must be addressed if we are to understand the events of this past week.

The state of Northern Ireland was created in 1920 by the British government who knew that they were going to have to grant some form of autonomy to most of the country. In the North-east however they faced a problem. What to do with their allies the loyalists? The logical answer was work to integrate rather than divide. However this was not to be.

So the 6 counties were to be cut off. No regard was given to the Irish people’s democratically expressed wish in 1918 for total independence across the board. The nationalist community within the Six-counties were to be unwilling and indeed unwelcome subjects of the crown. To ensure their submission a new state would have to be one that ensured the superiority of Protestants in every area of life.

So a gerrymandered sectarian state was created. This state still exists though its appearance has altered in some superficial ways. This state under the Good Friday Agreement ensures Protestant hegemony and the subjugation of the aspirations of the Catholic population. The tactics for keeping the Catholics under submission have changed over the years. The B specials have been replaced and their replacements replaced.

But whilst the insignias may change the ethos doesn’t. The PSNI are still doing the job these forces once did. No action was taken on Sunday to protect the Catholic residents against a baying mob. Likewise in years gone by we have seen the residents of the Short Strand left defenceless. We shouldn’t be surprised. They are not there to protect the nationalist community. They are helped by a compliant media and colonial parliament.

When the RUC found themselves fighting the IRA and INLA they turned to their natural allies – the proxy murder gangs of the UVF and UDA. They supplied them with weaponry, information and protection so they could terrorise the “enemy within”: the Catholic population.

The UDA wasn’t even illegal until 1992 despite overwhelming and indisputable evidence that it was murdering Catholics on a widespread scale. The British government was willing to work hand in hand with these people because it helped them secure their statelet. Likewise we can see the difference in treatment meted out to both communities. In 1969 after years of discrimination and constant harassment the nationalist population exploded with rage and fought back. They were met with bullets, batons and tear gas. In 1974 the loyalists openly defied the British government and brought down the Sunningdale agreement as once again the British refused to confront them. No change in 2009 as the PSNI stand by to allow a mob to rampage their way through a Catholic estate.

This relationship is integral because it ensures survival for Loyalism. Loyalism is an ideology that has no place in the modern world. Based on imperialism, sectarianism and maintained through brute force it should be consigned to the history books. It has survived only because it has been encouraged. The Orange Order and other supremacist loyalist groups preach bigotry that is akin to the rhetoric of the KKK. They are allowed parade through nationalist areas. The UDA is the only group of drug dealers that is funded by the European Union and the British government. It is also the organisation to which the murderers of Kevin MacDaid claimed affiliation. There has been no decommissioning of Loyalist weapons. There have been no serious efforts to force them to do so, nor will there be.

This is due to what is termed without any hint of irony “the peace process”. This process is ensuring a return to pre-Provo Six-county rule, albeit with a few cosmetic differences. Catholics will be allowed in government as they were before. But still they will be made to know their place. All those that object will be silenced, labelled “opponents of peace”. This applies only to republicans of course. For it is their ideology that must be destroyed to allow this monstrous, bigoted state to survive.

The process will ensure that murders like the one on Sunday are tolerated. Condemned loudly in parliament and condoned behind closed doors. For what is one life when compared to their survival politically? This progress ensured that the Catholic area was left defenceless, they were told to put their faith not in their own but in the colonial police. The process must go on until all traces of opposition are annihilated. Just to ensure the local Catholic residents of Coleraine don’t forget, a Loyalist parade will be allowed to pass within 100 metres of the spot where Kevin was murdered this Friday. A UDA band will be in attendance.

Republicans must stand by their communities. The methods of suppression have changed in some ways but are all too familiar in others. Faith cannot be put in a settlement that means surrender, humiliation and danger for the nationalist people. There can be no more defenceless communities, no more sacrificial lambs on the altar of the process.

We must resist normalisation for it is a hideously ironic term. There is nothing normal about a gang of 40 men kicking a human being to death for the manner in which he chooses to express his faith. There is nothing normal in a state where republicans are interned for being republicans. There is nothing desirable about a process that leaves the working class communities on both sides of the divide destitute. Let us remember Kevin MacDaid and never forget the reasons why his killers were encouraged to exist.

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2 Responses to “Kevin MacDaid: a victim of peace?”

  1. Peadar de Rás Says:

    A good article. The Unionist ‘condemnations’ were in some cases despicable, but not surprising. Unfortunately the same politicians could not find it in themselves to attend Kevin’s funeral, and to publicly show their outrage and abhorrence at his brutal murder. Then again, were they outraged and abhorred by what happened? The non-attendance of the Unionist politicians at Kevin McDaid’s funeral sends a clear message to the catholics of Coleraine.

    As a resident of Coleraine I am acutely aware of it as a town that has always tolerated intimidation and violence towards the catholic population by loyalist thugs. There is even a week long ‘festival’ and a day’s public holiday to have a right good celebration of the orange ‘culture’, to which these thugs would claim to be part of. Coleraine has long been controlled by the UDA who have been allowed a free run by the RUC, and is the town whose UDR base handed weapons over the wall to loyalist paramilitaries. It is a town that is no stranger to attacks on catholics, countless pipe bomb attacks, petrol bomb attacks, intimidation on a wide scale. Kevin McDaid’s murder horrified but did not surprise many of us. Until something is done to tackle the sectarian bigots and the hatred of catholics by many in Coleraine there will be more Kevin McDaid’s.

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