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20 February 2015
BBC Northern Ireland Learning - Citizenship - KS3/KS4

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Sectarianism
Transcript

Laughter lab

Video 1: Selective hearing

Kevin McAleer:
Ah, there is a lot of prejudice around. I couldn't agree with you more there, John.

John Byrne:
I myself was a bigot. I was a Protestant bigot and I am sure Kevin would admit to have been a Catholic bigot but you know there has always been this - whatever you say, say nothing attitude in Northern Ireland. But thankfully things are changing; people are talking, and listening and finding an awful lot of common ground.

Kevin McAleer:
That's right, and the common thread that we are finding, I think, is our history. We have nothing to fear from history, except I think ignorance and I suppose fear itself. Let's look at the facts. The Protestants, I think we would all agree, arrived here 400 years ago. They robbed the Catholic land. They drove us up to the hills like so many sheep. They did their best to brutalise our language, our culture, our traditions. Our struggle continues today to right those wrongs, and that struggle goes on even as we speak.

John Byrne:
I couldn't have put that better myself. These early settlers were fine, decent, hard-working Protestant stock. What did they find when they got here? They found a wasteland; a bog, as Kevin said, inhabited by semi-nomadic non-English speaking Roman Catholics, you know. What did they do? They built towns, they built cities, they started up industries, basically they transformed Ulster into the garden that we have today.

Kevin McAleer:
It's so refreshing to hear John speaking of the positive aspects of Ulster. Our Gaelic culture, as he says, is flourishing. Our population is young and rousing and vibrant. We are going to soon outbreed you Prods within the next 20 or 30 years. That's going to enable us to actually vote for a united Ireland and, let me make this clear, we will not hesitate to use the ballot box as a weapon if that's what it takes to achieve our constitutional ends.

John Byrne:
I share Kevin's vision of this threat of a united Ireland, and what we need is a wall, a big wall, you know. We might argue, I am sure we will, about you know its height or its thickness or what colour it is, but basically a wall is what's required from Newry right round the province, up to Londonderry.

Kevin McAleer:
That's right, Derry.

John Byrne:
I would like to comment on something else Kevin said and agree with it. Roman Catholics are breeding like rabbits. What we need now is a compulsory programme of sterilisation for Taigs. I think that's well overdue.

Kevin McAleer:
John makes me feel ashamed of my ignorance at basic Protestant culture. It's only from meeting decent, ordinary Protestants like himself that I have become aware that they are all walking around in a state of mortal sin and if they were all to die tonight, God forbid, the whole fascist million of them, they would go straight to hell for the catalogue of war crimes that they have perpetrated against our people.

John Byrne:
You know I share your shame. I share Kevin's shame. I too was ignorant, you know. Until I undertook some extensive reading on the subject myself, I had no idea that the pope of Rome was in fact the embodiment of evil, the anti-Christ. And the whole dirty, unclean, unwashed, bloodthirsty shower of them are hell bent on spreading their popery worldwide and bringing down our wee state, our wee province here.

Kevin McAleer:
I hear what John is saying very clearly. We cannot coerce a million Protestants into a united Ireland. So we have got to find some other way of getting rid of them. I say let them all go back where they came from. Failing that let them all knuckle down and turn Catholic like the rest of us, accept the pope's wafer on the tongue, smile, enjoy themselves for once in their lives.

John Byrne:
That's very encouraging.

(Extract from "The Empire Laughs Back" 11/08/1994)



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