Well, well, well, that didn’t take long, did it? The great reach out by Sinn Féin to those of us who are proud Royalists was a bit of a flash in the pan. It appears the Republicans were happy to travel to Westminster Abbey for the King’s Coronation and absorb all the pomp and ceremony as interested onlookers – but don’t ask them to accept a free portrait of said King. No, no, that would be a step too far.

Last week at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, the free portrait of the head of state – the King, a man who sits above the political fray – was rejected by those great intellectuals in the Council because it might conflict with the Council’s flags and emblems policy.

What a contrived excuse, which everyone can see straight through.

The simple explanation is more straightforward, if less palatable, and that is that the Nationalist-controlled Council does not recognise the King as the head of state because they don’t believe he is, and as for those in the Council area who actually do engage in reality, well, we don’t count, because we don’t vote for them.

The era of them-ums and us-uns is truly alive and well and living in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

The King, of course, is plainly not a political flag or emblem, nor is he a political figure, unlike the President of Ireland who is elected and is often a former politician. The current incumbent is very definitely a political figure with many of his pronouncements.

The gift of having a monarchy, as well as being that thread of continuity, is that it sits above politics.

As Deborah Erskine MLA said on X, the Council’s decision was: “A total embarrassment. Aren’t we supposed to live in a shared society? Zero respect and tolerance were shown to Unionists and Royalists. The Monarchy is regarded in homes across political divides. Shame out of touch reps don’t see this does not recognise reconciliation work by the Royal Family.”.

DUP councillor Errol Thompson told the Council Chamber: “I think it’s important how the Royal Family have crossed all boundaries within Northern Ireland, throughout the United Kingdom and, indeed, the Republic of Ireland.”

The King has dedicated his life to understanding other faiths and cultures and is fully committed to genuine reconciliation in Northern Ireland. What a contrast he is to the Nationalist councillors in this area.

Sinn Féin used to be a lot more honest about their denial of reality. In the bad old days, apart from condoning the work of the IRA in blowing the economic heart out of towns and villages, when caught they used to refuse the jurisdiction of the court as if it was make-believe.

Now they just try and deny they are part of the United Kingdom by refusing to say the phrase. And as for mentioning the part of the UK where they live – Northern Ireland – well, we need look no further than Michelle O’Neill for clarity on that.

When asked about supporting the Northern Ireland football team, she said –after giving the usual preamble about the Republic’s team – that she wished the “local” team well – no, she wasn’t referring to Linfield of Donegal Celtic, but Northern Ireland!

This is the woman who claims she will be the First Minister for all – she can’t even say the name of the country!

Chapter one of how to be a good Republican must be a great read on how to avoid saying Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom.

You can just imagine it:

“In most cases, refer to the North, or with Republican comrades, ‘the occupied six counties’. If continually pressed about the issue, then use ‘local’ or ‘here’.”

You really couldn’t make it up, but it’s a reality for those of us who have to endure the tortuous verbal twisting of the name of where we live.

It’s different in Scotland, where Republicans in the SNP will at least acknowledge that they are in the United Kingdom at present.

Oh yes, they want that to change, and to break up the United Kingdom, but at least they have the political maturity to acknowledge the reality of being in the United Kingdom – unlike Sinn Féin.

The message to Nationalist councillors from the British people of this area is this – We see you. We see you as the narrow Nationalists which you so clearly are. There will be a place in the new Ireland for us all – as long as we agree with their narrow definition of being Irish.

No thanks; we’ll continue in the United Kingdom, with the diversity it offers everyone.

The literal meaning of ‘Sinn Féin’ is ‘We Ourselves’.

I always expect them to behave in the manner they did in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

I used to expect more from the SDLP as many of their voters have a high regard for the Royal Family and, indeed, many of their voters are scratching their heads at this latest decision.

But in these past few years, the SDLP spent all their time trying to be as green if not greener than Sinn Féin, scraping around at the bottom of the barrel for relevance and attention – a very sad demise for the once-dominant mainstream Nationalist party.

There are many homes in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area with portraits and pictures of our Monarch – mine included.

This will continue despite the pathetic efforts of the Nationalist councillors to deny reality.

And by the way, God Save The King!