Parades and profits – the Orange pound…

FIRST we had the pink pound, now we have the Orange one (perhaps worth a ‘crown’?). The institution’s charm offensive continues by highlighting the economic benefits the ‘biggest folk festival in Europe’ brings to NI. The Order claims that members and supporters spend £6.3 million on the Twelfth.

Wonder if that figure would cover the PSNI overtime and council clean-ups afterwards?

Meanwhile, Ciaran Barnes points out in Daily Ireland that while the DUP’s Nelson McCausland, whose Orange Lodge may be marching in Cork this St Patrick’s Day, opposes funding for the Belfast St Pat’s carnival, his lodge will be applying to his council for a grant.

Both the Orange Institution and the St Patrick’s Day committee appear to be making progress in their attempts to make their events more inclusive. While they both are moving forward, I don’t feel that either is there yet, but it might not be long before the changes become noticable.

My fear is that all these good efforts could be wrecked if, for example, either ‘side’ felt their best interests were served by an unstable marching season. Years of work could go out the window because of the political limbo we’re in.

  • Alan2

    It would certainly take the heat of the IRA if trouble flaired at interface areas and a small minority of marches had trouble flare up…..and loyalists do the usual and shoot themselves in the foot with a raw burst of bigotry…

  • George

    As Belfast City Council will likely be funding the Orange Order March in Cork on St. Patrick’s day this year through it Lagan to Lee programme, should Dublin City Council not fund Belfast St. Patrick’s day festival.

    It could be called “Dub 2” or “Dub be good to me” funding or something like that.

    Problem solved. After all, it’s only 30,000 pounds sterling we’re talking about here.

  • Alan2

    Yeah I think the organising committee are trying and the Council has been rather hard on them. I note Billy Hutchinson voted to fund the event.

  • IJP

    We may gain £6.3m from these parades, but they cost us far more in security!

    Parading is important, but so is doing so responsibly.

  • maca

    “Parading is important”

    Do you think? Why?

  • Alan2

    Mardi Gras? Chinese festivals, St Columbus PAreas, St Paddy`s Parades. There are parading traditions and cultures all over the world including many….Zulus….

  • IJP

    Do you think? Why?

    Because it’s a central and genuine part of many people’s cultural tradition. It’s a focal point for many communities in which individuals would otherwise feel isolated. Much like sport is important, or music is important.

    Of course not everyone who parades does so for entirely honorable reasons, I’m just pointing out that many people do!