Sunday, 5 March 2017

HOW I HAVE VOTED

MY POSTER WHEN I STOOD FOR ELECTION TO LARNE BOROUGH COUNCIL 1989
Recently a number of Blog readers have been asking how I voted in this week's Northern Ireland election.

I imagine that some of those are asking this hoping to set some kind of trap for me?

Others may be genuinely interested.

How one votes is a private matter unless one chooses to make it known.

As I have always VOTED ACCORDING TO MY CONSCIENCE I have no problem in saying how I voted.

Incidentally I ONCE stood for election to public office. In 1989 I stood as an INDEPENDENT CROSS COMMUNITY CANDIDATE for Larne Borough Council. Larne was and is 87% Protestant and 13% Catholic.

I got the second highest vote in the election after Ian Paisley's DUP and served for 4 years.

The main reason I stood was that Bishop Cahal Daly told me that as he had sacked me Larne did not want me.

I put that to the test by allowing ALL the people of Larne says whether or not they wanted me. 


I came to Northern Ireland in August of 1978 right in the middle of THE TROUBLES and became a priest on Belfast's Fall's Road - the heart of Northern Ireland Republicanism and Nationalism.

When I arrived I was the least political person you could imagine.

But then I experienced it all - shootings, bombings, the IRA, the British Army, the RUC, the Dirty Protest, the Hunger Strike etc.

I have NEVER believed in VIOLENCE - either the violence of the State or the violence of the Republican or Loyalist paramilitaries.

I did not like the SDLP because I regarded them as the Political Wing of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Although I did admire people like John Hume. 




From 1978 until now I have generally voted for SINN FEIN - in the beginning as a protest vote and later on because I admired their socialist and progressive policies on women, the fay community, equality etc.

I am NOT and never have been a UNITED IRELANDER.

I would not want to live in the Republic of Ireland as long as the Roman Catholic Church has one ounce of influence - whether that influence be obvious or subtle.




I would be for  a NEW IRELAND as long as that new country was completely secular and pluralist and there was complete and total separation of church and state.


I have changed my vote on two occasions in my time in Northern Ireland.

My local Westminster MP is Sammy Wilson of the DUP. Three years ago I went to see him about something and he did a wonderful job for me on a hard issue.


SAMMY WILSON MP


I told him that I would give him my vote at the next general election and I kept my word.





This week I also changed how I normally vote. the leaders of the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist Party asked people to give them votes and transfer to each of them in the hope of  something new happening.




I decided to give it a chance.

I'm afraid it did not work out.

So that's how I have voted.

I try to vote with my conscience and what I think is for the common good.

I am principally a Sinn Fein voter.

If I lived in the Republic of Ireland I would be a Sinn Fein voter too.




55 comments:

  1. Sinn Fein come down here saying they oppose water charges. I note that a section of local property rates up north is reserved as a water charge.

    Sinn Fein tell us they wont charge for water. But when they can charge they do charge.

    I don't mind paying for water but I do mind being lied to.

    SF - lie to us
    FF - didnt listen to Charlie McGreevey and screwed up the economy
    FG - operate for the wealthy only
    Lab - knee-capped themselves with the water charges (which should have been implemented in the same way SF charge for it up north)
    Greens - knee-capped themselves by backing FF for too long, but that's ok because we have energy efficient light bulbs now
    Renua - ReWho?
    Independents - Sure the lad from the pub talks mighty politics after a lash of pints
    PPP - Might actually have a point if they didnt associate with Mick the knuckle dragger from Wexford.

    Shane Ross - all talk in opposition, but once he's in Government he gets the star prize for Ireland's best civil servant (head down lads, watch the pension accumulate if he stay in Government for long enough).

    Catherine Zappone. Ah lads, abortion is fine as long as it's not being conducted in a cesspit in Tuam.

    A republic for equality;
    1. Maternity hospital: typically an out of date building often rented from near-dead nuns.
    2. Baptise the child so we can educate him.
    3. Educate the child; oh ya, root out the baptism cert because the PP manages the local 'national' school.
    4. Secondary school - the norm is very often still limited to religious options.
    5. choice of college - if you want to be a primary school teach your better pick your religious own third level institution.
    6. Every Bishop has a high level garda as a contact point. The average Joe will need to deal with whichever guard appears inside the counter.
    7. Good Friday - nope you still cannot have a pint.
    8. Gay marriage - the Church will oppose every bit of happiness and hope you might have for this.
    9. Constitutional referendum - the bishop will without fail tell you what way you should vote.
    10. Corpus Christi parade. Of course, the State will supply guards of honour at no extra cost.
    11. Papal visit; of course the State will pay the bill - what itenary would you like? [no visit to Tuam?]
    12. Death in the family - the local bishop reserves the right to supersede your funeral arrangements and change the service agreed with local clergy.

    Need I go on?

    We have a long long way to go to separate Church and State.
    Pat, how you vote is your own business and that blog commenter should mind their own business.

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    Replies
    1. A very interesting and thought provoking comment.

      Thank you.

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  2. Bishop Pat, that's a very interesting perspective on the latest snap election. I wonder did anyone record the BBC's coverage of the election on Friday evening as it provided some substantial evidence. My reason to ask this was that Fr X's young lover was shown at one point behind Arlene Foster when she was being interviewed. I'm also very reliably informed that the DUP are ready to expose Fr X because they discovered he voted Sinn Fein. Very messy and nasty business and it could provide headlines to a number of red tops in the media.

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    1. Pat told us that Fr. X is from the North but works in a parish in Co. Louth. How is it possible that he voted in the Assembly election? He doesn't have a bloody vote in the north. You're talking crap!

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  3. So Pat, because you normally vote SF, you do support violence and terrorism? Bravo dear chap

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    1. SF is a legal party in both parts of this island.

      Will you be at Mass today?

      If you will you support the Bon Sucker nuns burying babies in sewer tanks?

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    2. You support murderers and terrorist so. I will be going to Mass, you know the whole part about worshipping God on Sunday? That's what I will be doing. Speaking of conscience, when you were stupidly ordained by the Catholic Church, at what point did you think ot was morally correct, in conscience to break the promises you made on the book of the Gospels. Regarding the tuam business, i am 34, dont burden me with your generations evil and mistakes.

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    3. Many political parties started out in violence - FF, FG, etc.

      By the time I was born in 1952 the Bon Suckers had already buried most of those babies.

      By going to Mass today in a Roman church you are supporting child abusers, child abuser cover uppers, Tuam baby buriers, Gaynooth, Cardinal Pell et al.

      You are giving them the "oxygen" to breath.

      But of course you are going for God.

      The God of the Vatican, episcopal palaces, Vatican banks, WYD Shag Fest etc.

      Good luck at the Roman Games in Xxxxxx.

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    4. @9:29
      +Pat can vote as he chooses and the reasons he listed were socialist reasons.

      As you disassociated with past transgressions of the Church so can +Pat's current choices be disassociated.

      What is shameful is that by referring to ordanation as a choice made by an institution you have clearly missed God's role in vocation and +Pat's ordanation. Do you believe in Divine Providence? Or an institution?

      +Pat, is God's own blessing on those +Pat meets and ministers to.

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    5. @9.13 Your remark is completely uncalled for and very, very politically out of date - -

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    6. SF campaign for the release of terrorists who have murdered gardai, innocent civilians etc. Is that out of date? What a dick

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  4. SF have a huge mandate now from the people, even Unionists recognise that. It's called Democracy 09.13.

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    1. Yes they have a mandate, no arguments there. Terrorism is terrorism, murdering people is murder no matter what way you want to dress it up.

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    2. I think you are resentful of SF's success. They are a threat to the cosy establishment.

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  5. 9.29 Having a go at somebody is not a valid way to refute an argument. As to how one votes it is nobody's business but their own. I tend to fall our the outsiders because I have lost faith in the mainstream parties

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  6. So therefore in your logic Nelson Mandela is a Terrorist too.

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    1. Ok, let me break this down as best as i can. I think murder is wrong. I think all murder is wrong. Therefore murder is wrong. Is that ok for your wonderful little mind?

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    2. The only one obsessed with murder on here is you, no one has or is advocating murder in these posts. It's great to live in a little world like yours where everything is black and white. I bet you live a sad pathetic little life with no sense of humour and you are probably a sad little man at 34 going on 74. Feel sorry for you really. Off you pop to Mass now with your piety and holiness.

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    3. Why am i going to Mass? Simply because i think terrorism is wrong, and by extension, murder, that is something i feel is a reasonable argument. And where did i say i was 34? I think you must be getting confused with your complicated type writer buddy! Peace out bitches!

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    4. No one on here is saying that it's right moron

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    5. Original. SF IRA all the same you knob

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    6. No one says terrorism is right. But SF is historically the murder party. A substantial number of voters endorse murder as a means of achieving political objectives. It is part of our history and it is understandable that SF should receive their support. They would not commit murder themselves because they are nice people nor would they want it done to them personally. Let's face it, murder is a means of self-advancement, political advancement, material progress. It always has been. There is nothing unique in that. There is a compelling argument in favour of murder as a means to an end. But some people do not agree with that argument. I guess that is all some of the earlier posters were saying. They seemed to suggest that despite the frailties of the Church, its sins and mistakes, attendance at Mass with a conscience unburdened by the murder-inclination could bring comfort to the soul.

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    7. I was under the impression that the former armed wing of Sinn Fein - the Provisional IRA has now ceased all actions?

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  7. Pat you are totally correct in saying that SF are a threat to the cosy establishment. People are sick and tired throughout the world with the establishment and the status quo, just look at Trump and the Brexit vote. Soon we will see massive changes in Europe with France and the Netherlands going to the far right. They often say history repeats itself and we should learn the lessons from history but we never seem to do. I am still celebrating here in the North because I thought I would never live to see the day that majority Unionist rule in N. Ireland would come to an end and it has. I have never supported or voted for Sinn Fein but this time I did and many more like me, boy I'm I delighted that I did. Thank You.

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  8. Pat, you become more and more unhinged with your every comment.
    Would you not seek psychiatric help? A few tablets might sort you out. It must be lonely Pat (the bishop) Bucklet V the Catholic church.
    Interesting your acid tongue make no impression on anybody.

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    1. Haha, thats a great comment there lads! Bucklet V the Church. Round 1. Ding ding, its all over, bucklet is chatting up the ref!

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    2. Bishop Pat makes some valid posts. The church has to face the fact it is a dysfunctional mess.

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    3. MournemanMichael5 March 2017 at 12:49

      Completely wrong @09.59.
      I regularly discuss +Pat's blog with several well educated very intelligent friends. We mostly agree he provides a valuable forum highlighting so much that is wrong with the RC church. His revelations often confirm and support decisions most of us long ago made to cease involvement with such a corrupt and irrelevant institution. Most of us are in our 60's and 70's with considerable life experience and regret that in our younger days while so much everyday life was dominated by RC influence we did not then have current information or wisdom to organise opposition to institutional RC malign influence.
      If you happen to be part of the RC institution beware. The time and tides are firmly against you. Pat's blog does make a large impression and is but one of larger influences revealing RC institutional abuses though mostly it is that very institution which is destroying itself.
      MMM

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    4. 10.06 Bucklet ? Is this a Mrs Buckett moment..

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  9. I see the Gaynooth cat bitches are out in force this morning and their claws as sharp as ever. Never corner a rat or other animal because we see the viscous side coming out - Meow.

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  10. SF and Pat do go well together. SF are the most anti catholic political party in Ireland today with their pro abortion , pro gay marriage agenda. They do not represent anyone authentically living the catholic faith. Many nominal catholics blindly follow SF thinking it is the catholic thing to do.
    Personally i think it is the time for a new political party. One based on christian democratic principles that is pro life, pro true marriage and pro social justice. As a practising catholic i havent voted in years. SF have done what centuries of British rule couldnt achieve, silence the catholic voice - for now.

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    1. MournemanMichael5 March 2017 at 14:31

      And long may they continue to do so.
      Religious affiliation and observance should be a personal matter with a completely voluntary facility for those so inclined to worship together without being prescriptive, both for those of similar faith and others, in matters outside the realm of sharing in worship.
      MMM

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    2. 12:30

      It was THE CATHOLIC VOICE that buried 800 babies in the Tuam septic tank !!!

      They need to be silenced and shown the door!

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    3. 12.30 You should vote for that mad Christian lady from West Tyrone (I think) who is anti gay, anti gay marriage and basically anti everything. She did so well in the last elections when she only got a handful of votes. Setting up a new party for Christian values me thinks would be a total waste of time, money and energy. After all you could always vote for Arlene and her bigoted party who are anti gay and anti gay marriage, even though there is a sizeable number of closeted gays in the DUP.

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    4. isn't the CATHOLIC VOICE a magazine?

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    5. The civil rights movement came about in the 1960s because catholics couldnt vote due to various exclusions around home ownership ect. 60 yrs on catholics authentically living the faith cannot vote for any of the political parties due to the liberal secular agenda being promoted abortion, gay marriage. History is repeating itself, forces want to extinguish the catholic faith. Jesus said to follow him we will be in the world, but not of it. How absolutely true.

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    6. I do not want to extinguish the CATHOLIC FAITH.

      I want to crack and throw away THE ROTTEN ROMAN VESSEL it is trapped in.

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  11. Pat do you have charitable status?

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  12. Replies
    1. "--just want friends" - - Very understandable, but don't forget the old proverb... A friend is someone who is not afraid to tell you when your face is dirty!

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  13. If you want friends I suggest a few great apps, Grindr, Silverdaddies and fabguys. Happy hunting.

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  14. Buckley me old China, interesting post (I find your views on politics and societal issues to be much more interesting than clerical gossip and who's gay and who maybe).
    The Catholic Church (priests and Bishops et al) are right wing reactionaries. The keyboard catholic priest warriors fear change and unity, hence why they're lobbing insults regarding your politics. You're much more in tune with the people, regardless of faith, religion or none.
    A friend of mine used to say "what you expect from a donkey but only a kick".

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    1. Thank you.

      I do think that I have interesting and controversial views for a catholic cleric.

      That's probably because most of the rest are right wing and establishment hacks.

      The gay thing is only important to me because of CHURCH HYPOCRISY and for no other reason.

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  15. Freud would have a field day, I often think--!

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  16. Oh, I don't know - - mankind still dreams and still suffers - - - Sadly, the latter will never go out of fashion.

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  17. Apparently there's a idol of fatima mary doin the rounds of down n connor . I had a look at a parish newsletter and it says this big figurine has been personally blessed by the pope/high sparrow and if your coming for a gawk bring white roses and hankies and you can dress ur wee kiddies up as shepherds. Are they wise in the head ? It's no wonder prods laugh at them !

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  18. OMG Bishop Pat. I've just returned from a Redemptorist mission in Cookstown Parish. You know two friends of mine Bill and Sue from Belfast so you know I'm being authentic and honest. I am a professional Mother and educated, that was the first Mission I've been to and it was horribly cringeworthy. I will not return. Mass is being streamed live at 7am and 10 am each day on the Cookstown web page - also 7pm Mass in the evening. There was two Redemptorists, one younger guy seemed to do the warm up and the finale.

    The older guy in between was a disgrace, he referred to a little baby girl in the front row and how lovely she looked at the beginning and the end, totally inappropriate! He kept going on about taking away the little red book and that it would cost us in the end as there was no such a thing as a free dinner, my blood boiled at this stage, Both of them didn't have the decency to tell us where they were from and their name.

    He then spent a long homily telling us he was in a concentration camp, but then explained only visiting Auchwitz which he mispronounced. Long story about Maximilian Kolbe which I was more than aware of, he talked as if we were children, please repeat bible phrases after me several times. By that time I was ready to explode. Then the finale was come up and touch the scriptures and while we were doing that I saw him looking at his watch. Never ever again.

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  19. "He kept going on about taking away the little red book and that it would cost us in the end.." This part of your narrative is not very clear. We get the point that the day wasn't entirely what you expected but why would that cause you such uncontrolled anger that you were 'ready to explode "? Most mature adults learn to take the normal frustrations of life in their stride as many of the people who post on the blog can - and often do - -testify. I am sure you are no different in your capability!

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  20. I arranged a Redemptorist Mission in England nearly 20 years ago. There was two Priests present and at that time the Parish paid them £4,000 plus the collections taken up, plus income of the tat stalls selling all sorts of religious paraphernalia. They expected all meals provided each day, drank a bottle of whiskey each per night and expected everything. The looking at the watch reminds me because they only wanted to get back in the door for the feed and whiskey, the highlight of their day apparently according to them.

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    1. Why was the hard-earned money of the parishioners wasted on daily supplies of whiskey? If it hadn't been available, the Redemptorists could not have drunk it. Simple as that.

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  21. It would cost us financially in the end for a small red prayer book 21.32 is what he inferred before telling us there is no such a thing as a free dinner but you carefully omitted that part.

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    1. The Redemptorist may have omitted something. I didn't, since I wasn't there!

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  22. If you weren't there, why comment?

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  23. Private. +Pat, as well as applying for the State Pension at 65, don't forget to claim the pension you earned during your four years on Larne council. You have to apply, it's not paid automatically. https://www.nilgosc.org.uk/about-us

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