February 15, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Chris Thackaberry

Chris Thackaberry is a protestant born and bred in Dublin. He is an Orangeman and sits on the Central Committee of the Grand Orange Lodge. He works in Belfast but is regularly in the city of Carson. Thackaberry is on the Central Committee of the Grand Orange Lodge.
Chris explained that "outsiders from beyond the 'Pale' would call us Dublin Protestants “Jackeens” as an insult." However "I view it as a compliment" he told me. Though Chris added a caveat, "bear in mind that the Republic is a City State not a nation one. All Irish culchie roads lead to Dublin!"

Thackaberry had a classless protestant education in a fee paying school, the State paid the bill thanks to the 1966 free secondary education policy adopted by the Irish Government. This policy allowed Protestant schools to retain their fee paying status which the government then paid the bill for those families whom could not afford the fee; this gave every protestant working class child the opportunity to access good liberal education as it continues today. Chrisfinished with a summary: "A quick rundown on my 43 Years: Good living, drinking panel beating orange dry cleaner and Taxi driving “bozzeee” come tour guide historian artistic bullshiter.  Currently gainfully employed by the NHS." 

Let the interview begin...    

Brian John Spencer: "When did you first learn about the Easter Rising of 1916?" Chris Thackaberry: 
"Dominic Street and Granby Row 1981 the “heeps” was a store we played in as kids jumping from one cement bag to another on this occasion my mate “eye-ball” fell down between the bags. While down there he starts singing “James Connolly” if I had of known who the fella Connolly was I would of left the fucker down there."

BJS: "Do the men, the act or the stated ideals in the proclamation mean anything to you?" CT:
"It means absolutely nothing to me I wipe my ass with it because when one bench-marks it against the 50 years of hard work carried out by Constitutional Irish Nationalism in the imperial parliament the 1916 proclamation reads like a political students teenage wet dream. It holds no room for the British ideal on this Island. Furthermore the signatories were head bangers when it came to their political science Eamonn Ceannt wanted to create an Irish Royal Family, Connolly was a Marxist what type of spastic State would we of got with that political impregnation of each of the signatories?"
BJS: "When did you first learn about the Battle of the Somme?" CT:
"The Somme The Somme The Somme: it sounds like a Jew looking for the rent. One would think that the 36th Div won the war after taken Thiepvol Wood they turned left hit the coast and then doubled back for good measure.  Yes... Ulstermen paid the supreme sacrifice in defending Briton and creating Ulster Nationalism; however, N. Ireland was born out of the political sacrifice of Irish Unionism."  
BJS: "Does this act, the men and their determination to show their loyalty to Britain mean anything to you?" CT:
"Of course it does... cynical as I am about the myths building around the 36th we must acknowledge that 400 Dublin loyalists joined the 36th men from Cavan, Litriam, Donegal, Cork, and Longford also joined their ranks. From the time I can remember the act of remembrance was a special occasion tied into our church calendar the poppy was to be worn in an act of remembrance not as a political statement or as a fashion item. The act of remembrance was a serious business; I acquaint it to a funeral atmosphere. What pisses me the fuck off is in Belfast poppies are placed on shop fronts, T-shirts, jackets and anything and everything one could manage to squeeze an Ulster Nationalistic £ out off."
BJS: "As a (British/Irish/Northern Irish*) person, is the 1916 Rising important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging on this island?" CT:
"The rising holds no importance to me at all It’s a tourist attraction were one can visit and see the fucking miraculous republican wounds that will never heal. I consider myself a Southern Anglo Irish Protestant ‘O working class. Now John Ford and Hollywood portrayed us as English wife beating moustache wearing “ejitss” in plus 4s and tweeds. But we where always part of the great unwashed of Ireland, the farmer, baker and the candle stick makers."
BJS: "As a (British/Irish/Northern Irish*) person, is the Somme offensive important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging on this island?" CT:
"No... What I find important is my collective history of the Irish men who served in WW1 and ww2 that defines part of my sense of belonging."
BJS: "Will you be commemorating or celebrating either of these two events in April and July of this year respectively?" CT:
"I will be attending some history talks and organising a speaker for Dublin who will give a talk on the Dublin Loyalist in the 36 Ulster Div."

BJS: "Are you happy with the series of commemorative events put on by the Irish State? And what do you think of Arlene Foster's take on the events of Easter 1916 (she has refused to attend any commemorations)?" CT: 
"I agree with Foster position although I hate her bible bashing self righteous Party. It is not as much as the events which is organised. It is the fucking spin put on the whole thing... like INCLUSIVE, SHARED HISTORY, IT WAS FOR EVERYONE. Fuck no...  it wasn’t it was a militant extension to Fenian rebellion and its aim; Brits out...  but thankfully it failed and its legacy has failed. Those who claim its inheritance are now administrating British Rule in Ireland. If that’s not a frailer I don’t know what the fuck is."
BJS: "As a person on (or from) the island are you happy with the where we are now at in terms of culture, cosmopolitanism and broad-mindedness?" CT: 
"If you are asking about the ROI yes very much so; however, N. Ireland has some distance to travel to call liberal."
BJS: "What are your hopes for the future of this divided province and island?" CT:
"We win the 26 back... sorry I’m dreaming. No... the future as I can see it is that every middle class Catholic can feel Irish while wishing for Ulster to remain within the UK because without that Ulster is fucked for staying in the Union over the next 50 Years.  The future of Ulster rests in the collective Unionism of catholic and protestant. And maybe we might get a sense of a type of Irish Unionism out of it."
BJS: "Please share any further thoughts these questions may have stimulated." CT:
"None... the Bar awaits me!"

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