Monday, 13 August 2012

A look inside Ardoyne

As someone who works in North Belfast and who represents North Belfast it seems strange but in fact I have been learning a bit more about North Belfast republicanism from the Newry Republican blog at

It is the text of a letter sent by dissident republicans in Ardoyne to the North Belfast News, a sister paper of the Andersonstown News and therefore aligned to Sinn Fein.

The letter is signed by Dee Fennell, a dissident republican and one of the leaders of the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC), Alan Lundy, who is now in Maghaberry gaol, Aidan Ferguson and Daniel Lundy.

The Newry Republican blog, including this letter, is well worth reading because (1) it shows the deep divisions between the two strands of republicanism in Ardoyne and that is something that those of us who are unionists need to understand, and (2) it helps us to understand who's who within Ardoyne.

According to another post on the blog, Alan Lundy is vice-chair of the Sean Mac Diarmada 1916 Society, a dissident republican group, as well as a GARC activist.


  1. Nelson, lets have a true look into Ardoyne, pemsioners, people afraid to speak out, riots destroying the area, no jobs, youth with nothing to do, single parents. YOU are a rep for North Belfast WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF ARDOYNE?
    Yeah some republicians always were in Ardoyne nothign wrong with that is there? But the vast majority are people who live the same lives as those on the Shankill, who deal with youth unemployment, drugs, crime. Other issues which we all know of. BUT AGAIN WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO HELP? Other than posts like this you seem to do very little!!!!

    1. What do I do for the people of Ardoyne? First of all I provide a service to them through my constituency advice centre. Quite a number of nationalists come to our office for help on a wide range of issues and I and my staff provide them with a first class service. We don't discriminate, we try to help anyone who comes in, whether they are from nationalist Ardoyne, unionist Ardoyne, Ligoniel Oldpark or any other part of the constituency.
      Secondly, through the Department for Social Development we support a wide range of community programmes and provisions in Ardoyne. Information about that is available on the DSD website, which details DSD investment in each of the Neighbourhood Renewal areas.

    2. Nelson there is no Unionist Ardoyne as I pointed out in a recent post. Ardoyne actually ends at Brompton Park, Then you haev Glenard and then from Alliance Glenbryn. Old Ardoyne and Glenard have collectively been referred to as Ardoyne. Can you break down your stats re how many come to your office from Ardoyne??
      When was the last time you where actually in Ardoyne? How many Jobs have Invest NI put into not just Ardoyne but North Belfast and I mean actual jobs not targets? How many jobs has your office created in North Belfast? Checked the site but could not find numbers. Perhaps you could do a blog on the actual numbers accross North Belfast?

    3. I do not intend to enter into a history lesson about the scope of Ardoyne, simply to point out that the Ardoyne Road runs up to Glenbryn, Hesketh and then on to Wheatfield. I would have thought that if you live on the Ardoyne Road or off the Ardoyne Road,then you are entitled to say you live in Ardoyne, albeit Upper Ardoyne.

      As regards jobs Invest NI creates jobs in locations to which investors wish to come. You imply that you want them to create jobs in Ardoyne, so where in Ardoyne do you propose that they locate an advance factory.

      However, and this may be a surprise to you, it is possible to live in Ardoyne and actually get on a bus or into your car and go to a job in the city centre or Mallusk or Dargan or wherever. There is a whole big wide world out there ....

  2. Dont blame nelson. Its not his fault they dont want a prodestant about the place

  3. Seems to me the people of the republican part of Ardoyne don't want to help themselves. They seem to themselves alone.

    More to the question what are the shinners doing for their electorate??? It would benefit the people of the republican part of Ardoyne, if they did not follow their elected representatives in street politics and going out of their way to be offended. And if the shinners and the other republicans in that part of Ardoyne stopped telling their people they are constantly victims. If the shinners were to put as much energy into getting jobs and improving the lot of their electorate that would be an a big step forward for republican Ardoyne. When the shinners have drilled into their electorate that they have little self worth year after year, braking that cycle of low self esteem and wedded to victim-hood, can only be done by the people themselves. And the first act of doing that it to throw off the heavy yoke negative shinner politicos. But knowing the republican part of Ardoyne as I do I doubt very much will change within the electorate any time soon.

    1. The people in Ardoyne do not see themselves as victims actually many see themselves as survivors. Ardoyne leads the way in community forums, activities, places like the Flax Trust which lead the way not only in Ardoyne but the work in community enterprise and emaoloyment. Low self esteem wise up!!!! There are problems in Arodyne like the Shankill, drugs, youth unemployment, poor results in exams etc. the same problems. These problems remain and cannot be tackled across all fronts while parades is still an issue. Every year it comes around never ending taking all the focus. Do I personally find it offensive to see hundreds of Loyalists singing sectarian tunes I do indeed. Am I willing to sit down and discuss a resolution yes I am. As for throwing of the yoke, you seem to be saying we have no right to believe in uniting our people and country? Note I put people first! Until we can unite the people we can never unite the country but we will still continue to try. Its not a yoke around our necks to believe Ireland should be its own independant nation. There is no rebublician part of Ardoyne. There is Ardoyne where some of the people happen to have republician views others do not. Ardoyne is made up of many different opinions and views just like where ever you happen to live. Oh an for info I had relatives in the 36th who where also republician also and other units in WW2. Many men and women from Ardoyne (Crumlin road to Alliance Ave) fought in both wars. So lets remember that we have more in common that you might think!!!