On BBC Newsline on BBC1 20/8/10 they issued a statement on behalf of C.A.R.A (Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association) denying that they were affiliated to Sinn Fein. Whilst it is undoubtedly true that they are not officially affiliated to SF, we are unaware of any community group anywhere that is officially affiliated to any political party. The C.A.R.A. denial does however beg the question why would anyone claim that they are?
FACT- THE ORIGINAL PROTESTS IN THE MID 1990’S AGAINST LOYAL ORDER PARADES ON THE CRUMLIN ROAD WERE NOT RESIDENTS PROTESTS BUT THEY WERE ORGANISED BY FORMER SINN FEIN COUNCILLOR EOIN DE BRUIN UNDER THE GUISE OF OGRA SINN FEIN. THEY ONLY BECAME RESIDENTS PROTESTS WHEN IT WAS POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT FOR SINN FEIN TO SAY SO.
C.A.R.A was set up a couple of years ago at a meeting in Ardoyne Hall, this meeting was called by Joe Marley (Prominent Stormont republican) and addressed by Stormont Junior minister Gerry Kelly in the wake of the break up of the APDG ( Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group). The APDG broke up following SF’s failure to get consensus on its strategy of NO TALK-NO WALK approach to unwanted sectarian marches through the area, most Ardoyne residents totally oppose the loyal order marches passing Ardoyne and rightly view any dialogue with the loyal orders as futile. Republican Socialists, through our ex prisoners group Teach Na Failte were actively involved in the APDG, we worked tirelessly to find a solution to this problem, It was Republican Socialists that investigated and located an alternative route away from Ardoyne and in to Glencairn where undoubtedly all loyal order parades would be welcomed with open arms.
At the initial meeting to set up CARA in Ardoyne hall attended by the IRSP and SDLP as well as Stormont republicans (SF), SF produced an already written constitution and proceeded to attempt to form CARA even though there was no consensus to do so at the meeting. It was clear that SF were going to form a group that was sympathetic to its strategy of consenting to loyal order parades passing Ardoyne in the morning but not on the return in the evening, regardless of the overall rejection of that strategy by the vast majority of Ardoyne residents.
The 12th demonstration 2010 and the trouble that accompanied this triumphalist parade have been well covered in a SF compliant media. CARA were the good fenians (Identified by yellow bibs with Ardoyne Steward printed on the back) and GARC (Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective) were the bad fenians, the Orange Order and the PSNI were blameless, so the media told the world. This is utter rubbish! The GARC protest was both legitimate and peaceful and whilst GARC called for support from other areas and political groupings to join their protest, they were entitled to do so, the same tactic worked on the Garvaghy Road and Ormeau Road. What went unreported is that many of the yellow bib brigade supporting CARA, do not come from Ardoyne but are bussed in from other parts of Belfast, they are paid Sinn Fein apparatchiks, who masquerade as Ardoyne residents. The job of the yellow bibs, led by Sinn Fein’s Bobby Storey, is to suppress the genuine residents of Ardoyne.
The IRSP neither support CARA or GARC, we view this division of the residents of Ardoyne as entirely the work of Stormont Republicans. Republican Socialists refuse to get drawn into this false division, however, we do support all the residents of Ardoyne who quite clearly oppose sectarian marches passing their homes, and we support their right to organise free from political interference.
In regards to CARA assertions that it is not affiliated to Sinn Fein it needs to look at why people might think they are? If they are not bringing the paid, state vigilantes into Ardoyne to decide who is allowed to protest and who is not, then who is?