“…so far there have been no convictions, and the attacks go on with shocking regularity in all six counties.”

Just because we haven’t covered it for a while doesn’t mean it’s not still going on. Attacks against often isolated Orange Halls in rural Ulster continues, as Eilis O’Hanlon notes, with very little in the way of consequences for those who do it:

Alas, so far there have been no convictions, and the attacks go on with shocking regularity in all six counties.

The latest was the destruction of Salterstown Orange hall in Ballyronan on the shores of Lough Neagh – the 21st such incident since January. That’s approximately one every 11 days. One hall was targeted three times in a few weeks.

That’s not even counting the paint and graffiti attacks which have also been taking place on Orange properties, all of which add to a sense of siege in the communities using them.

Because, as Nelson McCausland points out, it’s not only Orangemen who are affected. These are shared spaces used by many in the wider locale for social events, keep fit classes and the like.

In part this is a result of a long stimatisation of the Orange tradition, but it is also one of the consequences of a drift in leadership at the top of government propagating further drift in real policy to tackle this and other politically painful nettles directly.

As we’ve seen in the recent attacks on Jewish graves in west Belfast, without a civilising frame, what starts off in politics can quickly migrate to racism and narrow, brutish bigotry.

, ,

  • grumpy oul man

    Name them then!
    by the way i did google search and already know you are wrong!

  • Thomas Barber

    I wont be jumping through your hoops who cares if you dont agree with me. If you want to nit pick jump in your car and come down and drive around else head to Belfast Zoo, there are plenty of monkeys up there who love that nit picking lark too.

  • grumpy oul man

    Right OK so not a pub on nearly every (or anywhere near every street corner), was on the falls just three weeks ago and went for a pint in the Rock wit a few of the family walked past a few street corners didn’t see any bars till i got to the Rock.
    Come on admit your wrong or name 20 bars on the falls rd and i will send a cheque for £20 to the charity of your choice.
    Oh did not mention it a lot of family in west Belfast from the bottom of the Falls to Andytown.

  • Thomas Barber

    WOW all the way to the Rock bar and you missed all the pubs and clubs on the way up but bet you loved the smell of raw sewage in there.

  • grumpy oul man

    so still no Bars Named, but a bit of abuse, guess my £20 is safe.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    that was a comment more about the relative weight of satire and comment aimed at that particular group of working class Protestants by educated middle class people. Just saying some self-awareness is needed by the satirises. It’s like when you get a bunch of public schoolboys on tv laughing at chavs. It can be funny at times but there’s also something unpleasant about it. And I did say some of it was fine and justified. It was more the balance thing and, in NI, the relative lack of interest in similar Republican targets, which is the other aspect of balance to consider.

  • grumpy oul man

    sorry but it was a excuse!

  • Thomas Barber

    Like I said I wont be jumping through hoops for you but regarding the raw sewage im not into man playing like yourself it was not an insult its fact and the reason why those Celtic players ditched the bar.

    Oh in case you interpret that any other way in which it was meant. Which I know you would. Raw sewage as in the sewage system in that bar is not suitable for the amount of people it caters for, just like another few bars on the road but due to a lack of space they are unable to do much about it.

  • Cosmo

    wasn’t it more about taste, and some sense of balance and fairness ?

  • grumpy oul man

    Stillno Names of bars or clubs, when the only check able part of your theory proves to be completely wrong then you will understand how that casts doubt on the rest of it.

  • grumpy oul man

    perhaps it could have been, taste don’t know about that,outing hatred is always in good taste, as for balance and fairness, well i have never heard MU suggesting that it is unfair to criticize nationalists (regardless of the subject) and will tell us at every opportunity (when talking about nationalists) that they cannot blame society and are responsible for their own action and presumably for the consequences.
    no sorry Cpsmo not buying it.

  • Thomas Barber

    Coming from someone who claims he walked all the way up the Falls Road and never saw a Public bar or club until he got to the Rock Bar its not too much to worry about.

  • grumpy oul man

    Abucs, as you are a Christian why do you nut apply the principals that Cairn outlined above to your Muslim brothers?

  • grumpy oul man

    walked all the way up the fall, where did i say that, De La Salle is not at the bottom of the falls,
    really try to keep up!

  • grumpy oul man

    How are the sites like Protestant coalition still operating !

  • Thomas Barber

    Thats the first you’ve mentioned De La Salle so its not surprising I cant keep up but there is no De La Salle on the Falls Road either.

  • grumpy oul man

    Thomas my reply is been held back by slugger for some reason, you will have to wait on it.

  • Declan Doyle

    Thats all very well, but in these days it happens to be Fleggers, Creationists and Racists who provide that added flavour of crazy needed to deliver excellent parody and satire. 99% of it provided courtesy of Unionism/Loyalism.

  • Jollyraj

    I agree with that. If we can just get Sinn Fein to drop their support for segregated education, we might start to get somewhere.

  • Jollyraj

    You seem to be suggesting he should do something which (assuming he’s right) would be quite a dangerous act merely to prove a point to you which you have in any case already decided to deny. Can’t blame him for not playing your game.

  • Oggins

    Completely agree, does not make any sense.

  • PeterBrown

    Ciaran

    As a member I can tell you categorically it is not the orders who are a huge drain on police resources it is the protestors – of the half dozen or so parades I am involved in annually most are self policed and we do a better job marshalling traffic ourselves with 4 or 5 marshals than the 2 policemen who turn up at one or tow of the other parades. My local Twelfth was policed by 8 officers in a minibus for traffic control and on the Last Saturday in Ballymena involved significant numbers of police at all. In each of these cases the orders cleared up the field after themselves so given that they cause the problem and your own previous logic should the Residents Groups pay for the policing?

  • PeterBrown

    I take it from that mature, logical, well argued, abusive, presumptuous post that you don’t include being hoisted on your own petard as one of your favourite pastimes then? I don’t deny the right to protest I merely point out that the logic of your proposal is that those who necessitate the police attendance should foot the bill. I don;t think your response really deals with that point from your own argument terribly well to be honest…

  • PeterBrown

    On what grounds would / could / should the OO be banned?

  • PeterBrown

    The logic is not my garbage its yours – polluter pays is your argument not mine but seeing as you ‘re already in such a deep hole why not keep digging!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right, the question is not addressed to me so apologies to all, I shall accept whomever’s reprimand.

    IF I’m at all reading SA correctly then the reason for the prevailing sentiment of the Scottish Protestants is that in Scotland the OO divides Scots.

    In Scotland it’s a case of being Scottish first and religion and politics second, the same doesn’t apply in NI, where quasi religion and identity are tied together.

    That’s not going into detail of the inconvenience of Orange parades in Scotland (I’ve been to the Glasgow 12th at last three times, a terrible disappointment, the Scottish Pipe Band Championships is actually more like an NI rural 12th).
    That’s just me, soz, carry on.

  • PeterBrown

    I assume that the total change of subject is a concession of my last point about the polluter paying but on to your next smoke and mirrors trick…

    If our raison d’etre is to offend then why do such a tiny fraction of parades take place in areas which cause “offence” (sic)? I have yet to take part in a parade which was deemed contentious never mind required a determination and the vast majority of members of the loyal orders can say the same so if that is our main objective we are very bad at fufilling it. The vast majority of members are not bitter or old nor do they march to bad music (see the Belfast Tattoo- no lectures from nationalists about marching to bad music, see the Henry Joy McCracken parade!) and they certainly do not do so in front of empty seats – there were tens of thousands of spectators in Ballymena for the Last Saturday parade. If anyone is demonstrating bitterness it is you!

    The members of the Orange Order all pay rates too if we are talking about individuals not the organisations (not like you to get your facts wrong is it?) – in fact I suspect that proportionately more do than protestors given the respective level of Housing Benefit claims so what is your point? Is the protestor the definition of a parasite?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I disagree: the best satire reveals wrongness lurking beneath a slick surface, it doesn’t just point at the already revealed and obvious.

  • PeterBrown

    We’re in for a lot of trouble in NI if we ban everything that divides us…

  • Declan Doyle

    As long as it exaggerates the topic it does the job pretty well. Unfortunately while Nationalism and Republicanism provide plenty of juice above and below the surface; Unionism and Loyalism is so far ahead in the crazy stakes, the former gets little attention and has little to offer on a par to amuse. But please, do you best, we are always up for a laugh.

  • PeterBrown

    “Because in many instances most of us just take ourselves offside to deny you the opportunity to indulge in your buffoonery.”

    Interestingly most residents groups rely on people from outside to boost their numbers rather than being solely local residents so perhaps as usual with you what you say is actually the opposite of the truth…

    In terms of individual rates payments I was contrasting them with Resident Groups – do they pay rates to subsidise the policing costs they create (a point I see you either missed or deliberately misconstrued)? As for GAA Rates payments – why are they no claiming their 80% exemption? Or are you misleading us (again)? https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/sports-and-recreation-rate-relief

    As for expulsions for attending mass can you cite a recent example? This millenium would suffice?

    In terms of Housing Benefit just because you are working does not mean you pay rates and most retired people do too – as for the stereotyping mopery I was contrasting the loyal orders and residents groups which is not the sweeping generalisation of all protestants versus all catholics you misleading claim it was but a small minority of both.

    I could do a statistical analysis of the proportion of loyal orders members who pay rates contrasted with those convicted of rioting in protest at our parades and I think I’d come out on top. If you can do so feel free to provide with a list of names and occupations of members of said groups for a proper scientific study and I think my statement would still stand up….but that wouldn’t stop you making false accusations anyway would it?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Most loyalist paramilitaries are not christian types who would be willing to embrace God but the issue is about removing them from the stage and giving them an honourable path and route to take the majority of it’s members down. Politically the majority of its members have no interest. Community Activism – Yes this has been a bit successful with some members but not with hugh numbers. Cultural Activism : This is the key for the masses and Orangism should be used as the tool to accomodate these people within its ranks to allow the loyalist paramilitairies to finally leave the stage.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Absolutely! “What do you mean you don’t have the letter between ‘g’ and ‘i’?”

  • Cosmo

    I agree, let’s dodge the Corrymeela/Christian end of things. Do you know are any these kind of initiatives being considered under this budget banner? I am ‘confused’ as to what the gov initiative below is REALLY covering….

    https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/newnigov/Executive%20Action%20Plan%20-%20Tackling%20Paramilitary%20Activity.pdf

  • PeterBrown

    “which is why this is the first time you’ve mentioned residents groups…”

    Clear falsehood (lie) number one – from my very first post “so given that they cause the problem and your own previous logic should the Residents Groups pay for the policing?”

    “there’s nothing really charitable about urinating on a church, which OO members seem to do now with increasing regularity.”

    Care to back that statement up with some evidence of an orangeman urinating on a church?

    In relation to policing costs I have pointed out that the Orders cost very little it is the protests which cost and see above to my first reference to them – should they not pay by your own logic?

    “For the OO Catholic life is less important than their right to their supremacist marches.”

    There is considerable doubt whether the Quinn attack was related to Drumcree but in any event there is no evidence to support your assertion any more than stating baldly residents groups view life as less important than their right to prevent marches – they are both non sequiturs.

    In addition to the previous lies I have called you on and where you have failed to reply these clear falsehoods show that if anything is poisoned here it is you…

  • AntrimGael

    Attacks on Orange halls are disgusting and MUST be condemned by ALL of us without equivocation or whataboutery.

  • PeterBrown

    If you don’t know the difference between an orangeman and a bandsman as referred to in that link where the Orange Order spokesman apologises then that might explain why you are done here without even dealing with all the other points I have raised – you were done before you started and if injecting poison into society is grounds for being banned then you might not to go voluntarily before it is enforced.

    As for the Quinn killings no matter what the motive was and at least one alternative explanation was put forward at the trial of the only person convicted of that killing (“There was evidence that there was bad feeling between Christine Quinn’s brother Colm Quinn and the appellant and his associates Johnny McKay and Ivan Parke. Colm Quinn had been threatened by them and on previous occasions pursued by McKay and others. He had an extensive criminal record and was accused by McKay and the appellant of supplying drugs. McKay had attacked him on one occasion and told him to leave the estate. Quinn’s house 69 Carnany Drive was attacked and boarded up, though he continued to visit it from time to time. He had stayed at 41 Carnany Park with his sister Christine on a couple of nights between 6 and 11 July 1998.” A factual scenario confirmed by the uncle in question) they were wrong. I condemn them – do you condemn the burning of Orange Halls – the same crime with the same motivation but without people actually inside the building?

  • PeterBrown

    I see you being done here was another lie like orangemen urinating on churches, its raison d’etre being to antagonise, empty seats, expulsions, bad music, my not having mentioned resident groups – I could go on…

    The motive as given by the accused has been confirmed by the uncle in question and the sectarian motive is somewhat undermined by the fact that the boys spent the previous day actually helping build the estate bonfire. It could be that it was purely related to Drumcree but there is backround to the case that has in some quarters conveniently been ignored.

    One final lie I note – that the orange order or its members are criminals but if you are actually done then you can;t come back to me about that one either….

  • grumpy oul man

    It not in the least dangerous, a thing has to actually exist before it becomes dangerous,
    He also claims that there is a bar or club on nearly every street corner on the Shankill and more down side streets, do you know the Shankill at all, i would drive up it occasionally and i don’t think there is a bar on nearly every corner.
    Thomas make wild claims (did you catch the one about the OO lodges and Cromwell banners ) in other threads he claimed to have “saved” a Muslim preacher and his stall from loyalist knuckeldraggers,

    Sorry Jolly he is in as much danger from the people in his imaginary bars as he is from Unicorn stampede.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but if you’re going to ban the OO then you’d have to look at a number of other organisations. I can think of at least one much dodgier one at the heart of NI politics which has said and done much, much worse than the OO. That’s not whataboutery btw, just pointing out the absurdity of proposing a ban.

    Advanced democracies take it as read that organisations exist that we think we’d be better off without – we don’t ban them, we tolerate them. I think we’d be better off without a raft of sectarian organisations including several of our political parties but I certainly don’t think they should be made illegal.