Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ó Donnghaile condemns Short Strand British Army recruitment drive

Statement released earlier today.........

Ó Donnghaile condemns Short Strand British Army recruitment drive

Sinn Féin’s East Belfast Representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has branded the decision to distribute recruitment literature for the British Army in the Short Strand area as both ‘inappropriate’ and ‘deeply offensive’.

Speaking today Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

“Yesterday like many other residents in the Short Strand I was surprised to find glossy recruitment literature for the British ‘Territorial Army’ in my letter box. I have been contacted by a number of residents highlighting their offence at this move since then.

The Short Strand is an area that has suffered greatly at the hands of numerous British Army regiments over a long number of years.

I spoke with one resident today, whose brother was gunned down by the British Army on the streets of this Parish while going about his daily business; understandably he is deeply hurt and angry that this literature would be directed at trying to recruit his sons into that same Army, I share his anger at the move.

Society in the North is moving on; even Hugh Orde accepts that there is no need for the British Army to return to our streets. There is also no need for this inappropriate and offensive attempt by the British TA to recruit young Irish people from this community under false promises of some sort of worthwhile career.” CRÍOCH


  1. This is a disgrace, we have also had RIR British Army recruitment in QUB last week.

    These acts are provocative and an affront to both predominatly nationalist areas, and their people.

    We should challenge this constantly and ensure that instead of recruiting, they are living up to their commitments in the GFA and demilitarising their war machine anois.

    Sinn Féin and Ógra should be the most vocal on this and not leave a vacuum for other groups to move into.


  2. This campaign was not targetted directly at Short Strand residents. In fact, the Army went out of it's way to exclude 'contentious' areas from the campaign. I know this for a fact. Parts of The Short Strand share the same postcode sector as the Albertbridge Road. Any overspill into The Short Strand was unintentional.

    For those young men and women who are willing to take a broader look outside their immediate surroundings (that, in the case of the Short Strand has been turned into something of a ghetto by the selfish interests of particular groups) the Army provides a worthwhile and very well paid career option. In fact, 20% of all applicants in NI are from the Republic of Ireland because vacancies in the Irish Army are so limited.

    Grow up. Northern Ireland has indeed moved on. The Army are not on the streets in this country any more. The war in Iraq has ended (we can all agree it was illegal) and they are off fighting a worthier cause in Afghanistan (trying to stop religous nuts from making the lives of ordinary people a misery and making sure northern Pakistan doesn't go the same way.) Sounds vaguely familiar eh....?

    Northern Ireland has moved on, the British Army has moved on (quite literally.) If only you you could do the same.

    Level Headed Nationalist

  3. "This campaign was not targetted directly at Short Strand residents. In fact, the Army went out of it's way to exclude 'contentious' areas from the campaign. I know this for a fact."

    Well clearly this isn't the case here as they didn't avoid the Short Strand. They put this literature into an area that suffered tremendously at the hands of numerous British Army Regiments over a long period of years.

    I resent the reference to the Short Strand as a 'ghetto' given that we are a very broad and outward looking community. No better example of this is the continuos and very significant cross community and cross border work that goes on between this district and others. Not too long ago I joined with others from the Short Strand who gathered at a talk in the East Belfast Mission Hall, shortly after a similar event was held in the Strand's community centre.

    clearly you actually either don't know or simply choose not to know very much about one of belfast's oldest,most valuable and most progressive communities.

    That's unfortunate for you.