No horses, no Irish – NOGOE goes back to the 70s

The latest communiques from NOGOE, the always open-minded opponents of the Olympics in Greenwich Park. If they’re trying to work out why nobody’s listening to their claims that the rebuilding of the Blackheath gates (and the remodelling of an iffy junction) is “Olympic vandalism”, then these might provide an answer…

9pm update: I’ve tidied the original, mobile-uploaded, post up and swapped the image for a one showing four of this morning’s tweets from the NOGOE account, run by activist Rachel “Indigo” Mawhood, who sent me this charming missive last summer. Most have since been deleted, but not before they were widely seen, and also captured by tweeter @pekingspring.

The “7 November 1974″ reference is to the IRA bombing of the King’s Arms in Frances Street, in which two people died. Nine years later, a second bomb at the barracks opposite injured four people.

NOGOE’s patrons include historian Dr David Starkey, who who caused outrage following last summer’s London riots when he said “the whites have become black”, author Blake Morrison and recently-appointed Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption.

32 comments

  1. Alan Burkitt-Gray

    They’re on dangerous grounds there. If I were a director of the company that’s won the contract, I’d feel that this was a clear accusation by NOGOE that I was a supporter of Irish republican terrorism, and I’d be calling a libel lawyer.

  2. Richard

    They are clearly mentalists but the traffic jams that closing the park to traffic has caused are huge. I am in two minds here, closing the park to traffic leads to loads of rat running in West Greenwich but it also shows how much traffic goes through the park which must make it quite dangerous for kids playing there after school.

    I was genuinly suprised that an Irish builder would win a contract to build something in the UK. Surely thats never happened before. Apart from the canals. Best forget the railways.

  3. langer

    Is this the same deep-dyed Irish Republican Cork that Her Madge visited to much love & acclaim last summer? #OhSoDailyMail

  4. Pedro

    Blimey…On their twitter feed, they are now commenting on the connection between Irish Republicans and Woolwich – ie, equating the builders with IRA terrorists who bombed the Kings Arms. Another post talks about the resurgence of republican terrorism. Now, that first post wasn’t grounds for libel – but this certainly is.

    They really are an even bigger bunch of fruitcakes than they seemed when I saw all 10 or 12 of them waving banners in a corner of the park.

  5. John

    Their Twitter feed does make them look like a bunch of lunatics, doesn’t it?

    Having said that, Cork does like referring to itself as a People’s Republic …

  6. John

    On a different note, there is a serious point about trying to build the legacy of the games by using local contractors and improving both the region’s skill base and the local economy, stopping profits migrating …

  7. Gavin

    A bit harsh accusing them of being anti-Irish based on just the above. In the current economic climate I’ve seen an increase in general ‘buy British’ sentiment which makes sense if we want to keep unemployment down.

  8. Paddy

    “given the resurgent threat on UK mainland of Irish terrorism, is not the contractor I would have chosen”

    I don’t think it’s at all harsh to accuse them of anti-irish statements when they are coming out with comments like the one above. The potential of an increased threat from irish terrorism is from by a tiny group – you can’t use the actions of such a group to justify your dislike of an irish contractor being awarded a piece of work.

    I don’t know much about NOGOE other than their increasingly paranoid statements on various local blogs, but from the Twitter feed they look like complete nutters.

    I am amazed anyone would take them seriously – even if you are anti the Olympics in Greenwich Park, surely there are better things to do than align yourself to this bunch of quacks..

  9. Michelle O'Brien

    In the interests of openness, and nothing more, I think it should be pointed out
    that Cllr. John Fahy, the Greenwich Cabinet Member responsible for culture
    and the Olympics, comes originally from a small village just east of the city of
    Cork in the south of Ireland. He moved to the UK at the end of the 1950s.

    He is a member of the Woolwich-based Irish Community Service in Greenwich,
    Bexley and Lewisham, the group formerly known as Irish in Greenwich.

  10. Pedro

    MIchelle, is that in the interests of open-ness as practised by people like the Daily Mail and others, those who are not known for their love of anyone outside of Kensington and Chelsea (or Crooms Hill)? Or is it just a general smear by association? Would be nice to know.

  11. col

    it says it all when they have to put “(not in the uk)” at the end to clarify that Cork is actually not in the UK.

  12. West of London

    So NOGOE is clearly anti Irish. I take it that they don’t want the support of the Irish in London, or those in Greenwich then?

    Wait till they find out that some of the horses taking part in the equestrian events are likely to have been bred out of Ireland, many are. Oh, they’ll be blaming it all on the Irish.

    I’m pretty disgusted by their comments.

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  14. Barbara

    I’ve had a wander through a few pages of NOGOE’s tweets. I did get the feeling that they live on a slightly different planet to the rest of us Londoners, Bigoted & disgusting yes – but mainly stupid people with stupid ideas, the funniest one was:
    “LOCOG doesn’t have permission to draw mains water in #GreenwichPark during #Olympics @StopCityAirport – bet they will steal it anyway”.
    I’m sure LOCOG haven’t given any thought to the gallons of water each horse will need each day let alone the humans that will accompany them.

  15. col

    it looks like the company in question is Sisk Group, founded in Cork (the people’s republic thereof) but now headquatered in Dublin (inside the Pale funnily enough).

    The branch that is doing this work, John Sisk and sons is based in Herts and hence pay UK Tax. Cannot confirm if solely UK employees are used. Prob not – though that goes for almost every company in the UK.

    http://www.wharf.co.uk/2011/05/work-starts-on-woolwich-olympi.html

    http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/market-data/top-100-construction-companies/2010 – number 88 on the list.

    on their website they say the group now employ more people in the UK than Ireland.

    other projects include:
    Crossrail (C305 project)
    The Shard Hotel
    The Olympic Village

    A competitive tender would have gone out and chosen probably as a mix of expertise and price

    Therefore its a UK company, albeit originally irish and more than likely employing UK workers.

    No different than a large number of UK companies.

    I’m all for work for the local populace, one of the key points I seem to recall about the olympics is that it would give locals a chance to skill-up and train which I am all for.

    But this sort of clap-trap, a cosey “them not us” balloney, anti bloody everything is entirely defeatist.

    ps – I’m also from a small town in Ireland, hence the “going off on one”, apologies, I’m off to apply a cold towel and sit in a darkened room for a while

  16. Jon lee

    This looks like it could be the end for NOGOE. Any sane, reasonable person reading these tweets is going to back away from these nutters. It’s a shame because they started out making some good points about the use of the park by the olympics but to descend to anti-irish racism is a disgrace and the idea that a few spent bullets will contaminate the water supply is just bonkers.

  17. Pedro

    Nice one for preserving those, Darryl! What better confirmation could there be that they’re small-minded, borderline (to be generous) racist, and magnificently stupid, than the removal of their own tweets!

    Maybe someone there has been eating lead shot?

  18. Jon lee

    And anyway isn’t Woolwich a bit outside their remit? I thought they were all about the equestrian events in the park. When did they start being bothered by the comparitively trivial problems of the shooting events in Woolwich?

  19. will

    Point of order: Being anti-Irish is xenophobic, rather than racist.

    But these NOGOE comments are no more acceptable for that. I feel a little sorry for people who supported NOGOE out of love for the Park, only to be badly let down by association to nonsense like this.

  20. Darryl

    Nope.

    I didn’t realise it was Sisk, which is a HUGE firm. I wonder what NOGOE-rs think when they find Murphy’s (of Kentish Town) are digging up the road?

  21. copy

    Sorry, my English isn’t really good. I will come for the Olympics as a journalist. In the most parts of the world people are proud to see high-level competitions. Here in Vienna we hosted the Euro 2008, a great opportunity to show our city! Great atmosphere. There werde traffic delays but nobody cared about. No anti-xxxxxxxxxx opinion in the press. I hope the feeling in London will be the same and there are not too many anti-xxxxx campaigns….

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