Northern Ireland has had a bit of a week, with the low point being a series of racist attacks on immigrant Romanians, and the high point a pledge by certain Loyalist paramilitaries to partially decommission their weapons. The latest news is that a Catholic priest was assaulted when Republicans rioted as the Orange Order marched through north Belfast.
When one of the stone-throwing Republican youths pushed and jostled the godbotherer and self-appointed community leader as the latter attempted to calm tensions, this was presented as a shocking lack of respect for authority:
“Probably that young person doesn’t recognise my authority or anybody else’s for that matter. We don’t want this. The community is tired of it. For a young person to come up and be involved in what is commonly known as recreational rioting is not acceptable.”
It’s been a long while since I took part in one, but I do love a good recreational riot. They are a powerful tonic for the soul, and can do wonders for community cohesion.
As for Father Donegan, this activist-priest clearly hasn’t a clue how to enforce his authority. Maybe he should take a lesson from Cartman…