Protestant cleric attacks invite to Orangemen

The Examiner reports, “A Church of Ireland clergyman, who was driven from his Northern home, has said Orange zealots should be banned from taking part in Cork’s St Patrick’s Day parade.” Hat tip Maca!

“Rev Armstrong, his wife June, and their children, Sarah and Mark, were forced to flee their home in Limavaddy, Co Derry, in the Eighties after extending the hand of friendship to Catholic neighbours.

They lived across the road from a Catholic Church which was bombed in 1985. Rev Armstrong publicly criticised the attack.

“Threats came along. The bible was quoted to me by men in bowler hats who said this was God’s work,” he said.”

  • vespasian

    Seems he thinks that because one group of bigoted intolerant idiots intimidated him, that he should become one himself.

    Hardly a Christian action!

  • willowfield

    Banning people and infringing their human rights is not a Christian response to an admittedly horrific experience on the part of the minister.

  • maca

    “Hardly a Christian action!”

    I was wondering how long it would take someone to attack his faith. First post, well done vespasian.

  • vespasian

    MACA

    Why, is he above criticism as a clergyman, when he spoke as one? Had he spoken as a man in street would his comments have been of interest to anyone.

    Do you think his actions are those you would expect of a gentleman of the cloth?

    I don’t think they are, nor are they even those one would expect of anyone whether they are Christian or not!

    Maybe you agree with him…….

  • willowfield

    The thought police – in the shape of maca – are on patrol.

  • Davros

    That’s unfair WF.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The minister has suffered at the hands of bigotry and intolerance and should be a good yardstick when judging on such.
    The O.O. are damned by their own constitution that helps to foment that bigotry and intolerance.

    Is the minister to be criticised for stating the obvious.

  • willowfield

    He’s being criticised for calling for a ban.

    Pat McLarnon – serial defender of the PIRA – is hardly one to be lecturing about bigotry and intolerance.

  • Mick Fealty

    It would help if people could stick to issues and not get hung up on who they are arguing with. If Pat is a defender of the Republican movement, then argue with the details of his stance rather than try to dismiss his statement simply because it’s he who makes it! Please?

  • George

    I assume the Rev. Armstrong is saying that the Orange Order shouldn’t be invited to an inclusive festival such as Cork St. Patrick’s Day because of their history of bigotry, exclusion and, in recent years, being a rallying point for those who wish to use mob violence against Catholics and the forces of law and order.

    Those who believe the Orange Order in Norhterrn Ireland have never stoked up sectarianism and never acted as a conduit for mob violence and are simply a cultural group like the Irish Countrywoman’s Association are obviously going to be offended by Rev. Armstrong’s remarks.

    My own view is that if this shows one thing it is the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today.

  • willowfield

    My own view is that if this shows one thing it is the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today.

    The views of a single individual show the “total alienation” of southern Protestants in general?

    Interesting inference.

  • Mick Fealty

    Are we talking about making the principle of exclusion in leiu of making bona fides acceptable to one’s own opponents a general one? For entirely understandable reasons, this not generally acceptable in the political realm.

  • Davros

    My own view is that if this shows one thing it is the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today.

    Is the Rev Armstrong a Southern protestant George ?
    I thought he was from the North.

  • George

    Davros,
    he is a norhterner I think but he has a southern congregation.

    Willowfield,
    My view on southern Protestant perceptions of the Orange Order is not based solely on Rev. Armstrong’s views. I have yet to meet a southern Protestant who hasn’t been alienated from the Orange Order in the last 10 years.

    For example, the Church of Ireland “banning” the Orange Order from using St. Anne’s on Dawson Street.

    Archdeacon Gordon Linney of the church’s Dublin diocese said at the time:

    “At Drumcree there have been ugly scenes with the church in the background which has created the impression of a close relationship. Apply that to (the Dublin march) and you can see why a special service would not be appropriate.”

    Rev. Armstrong is merely distancing his Cork congregation from the Order just as Linney did his.

    Any southern Protestants out there who are fans of the Orange Order?

  • Davros

    Any southern Protestants out there who are fans of the Orange Order?

    How about the members of the Southern lodges ?

    Rev. Armstrong is merely distancing his Cork congregation from the Order just as Linney did his.

    How do you make that one out ? In the Examiner article he’s speaking for himself, not his congregation. As a minister in the C of I he doesn’t have power over his congregation.

  • willowfield

    George

    My view on southern Protestant perceptions of the Orange Order is not based solely on Rev. Armstrong’s views. I have yet to meet a southern Protestant who hasn’t been alienated from the Orange Order in the last 10 years.

    So, contrary to what you said above, your own view is NOT that this shows “the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today”. It is actually your failure to meet any non-alienated Protestants that shows the “total alienation”.

    Any southern Protestants out there who are fans of the Orange Order?

    As Davros points out, the Southern Protestant members are presumably fans. So too their families and supporters.

  • willowfield

    George

    My view on southern Protestant perceptions of the Orange Order is not based solely on Rev. Armstrong’s views. I have yet to meet a southern Protestant who hasn’t been alienated from the Orange Order in the last 10 years.

    So, contrary to what you said above, your own view is NOT that this shows “the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today”. It is actually your failure to meet any non-alienated Protestants that shows the “total alienation”.

    Any southern Protestants out there who are fans of the Orange Order?

    As Davros points out, the Southern Protestant members are presumably fans. So too their families and supporters.

  • willowfield

    George

    My view on southern Protestant perceptions of the Orange Order is not based solely on Rev. Armstrong’s views. I have yet to meet a southern Protestant who hasn’t been alienated from the Orange Order in the last 10 years.

    So, contrary to what you said above, your own view is NOT that this shows “the total alienation that southern Protestants feel towards the Orange Order today”. It is actually your failure to meet any non-alienated Protestants that shows the “total alienation”.

    Any southern Protestants out there who are fans of the Orange Order?

    As Davros points out, the Southern Protestant members are presumably fans. So too their families and supporters.

  • George

    Davros,
    he doesn’t say anywhere in the article that he was speaking for himself alone.

    He said he decided to speak out to “keep clear blue water between Orange Order behaviour and what I believe”.

    My take on it is he is only voicing the views of most Southern Protestants, who believe as he believes, and don’t want to be associated with this organisation.

    The same distancing operation happened in Dublin in 2000.

    As for the parade, considering some drunk chucked a petrol bomb at the Royal Navy ship docked here last week, it could be an interesting March 17.

  • George

    Davros,
    he doesn’t say anywhere in the article that he was speaking for himself alone.

    He said he decided to speak out to “keep clear blue water between Orange Order behaviour and what I believe”.

    My take on it is he is only voicing the views of most Southern Protestants, who believe as he believes, and don’t want to be associated with this organisation.

    The same distancing operation happened in Dublin in 2000.

    As for the parade, considering some drunk chucked a petrol bomb at the Royal Navy ship docked here last week, it could be an interesting March 17.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Oh dear the site is much more uniform when in lynch mob mentality and hanging republicans, whatever you do don’t mention bigotry.

  • Davros

    George, I don’t think you understand how the C of I works. Sorry. I know you are too stubborn to ever admit that you are wrong, but neither Linney nor Armstrong have authority OVER their congregations.
    They can with proper support refuse access to premises. But C of I ministers cannot turn up at peoples doors and tell them what to do.

    All else you have written is your transferring your hopes and beliefs into what has been written in the Examiner.

  • George

    Davros,
    don’t get into the patronising phase.

    I accept they don’t have “authority” over their congregations just as Catholic priests don’t but I believe both were stating the views of the overwhelming majority of their congregations, which is why they made these decisions in the first place.

    Rev. Armstrong didn’t decide in a vacuum to speak out just as Linney didn’t wake up one morning and decide to “ban” the OO from St. Annes. Do you not think it reasonable to assume these decisions were made with their congregations’ views and concerns in mind?

    You can confuse the issue by saying he was not speaking for his congregation if you want but I still don’t know of any southern Protestant who hasn’t been alienated from the Orange Order in the last decade. Do you?

  • maca

    Vespasian
    “Why, is he above criticism as a clergyman, when he spoke as one?”

    Just it’s the all too obvious ‘disagree with or criticise the OO and you musn’t be a proper protestant/christian’ type comment.

    No one is above criticism, of course.

    “Do you think his actions are those you would expect of a gentleman of the cloth?”

    His actions are those of someone who has seen their bigotry at first hand and sees little reason to be welcoming such people to such an event.

    “nor are they even those one would expect of anyone whether they are Christian or not!”

    Of course they are. They are exactly what you would expect.

    “Maybe you agree with him…….”

    Not quite.

    Willow
    “The thought police – in the shape of maca – are on patrol.”

    Oh gosh, good one willow!

  • Davros

    Do you not think it reasonable to assume these decisions were made with their congregations’ views and concerns in mind?

    No it’s not as seen by various fallings out over the years between clerics and congregations George. You have no right to extrapolate from the story to reinforce your own prejudices.

  • George

    Davros,
    I wouldn’t call them prejudices, I think that is a step too far.

    I believe in this instance it is reasonable to assume these decisions were made with the majority of their congregations’ views and concerns in mind.

    Harryville and Drumcree have taken a heavy toll down here. Can you furnish any evidence to the contrary?

  • derrywiner

    Virgin territory as this is my first post on the site, but firstly we should have a little background on Rev David Armstrong
    http://www.rte.ie/tv/wouldyoubelieve/2000-2001/19thisweek.html

  • spirit-level
  • irishman

    David Armstrong will no doubt be castigated by the southern revisionist/ unionist fraternity for exposing the ugly reality of Orangeism. For this he is to be welcomed. I only hope the City Council rejects the funding application from these bigots and that any participation by Nelson McCausland and his ilk is met with vociferous opposition from spectators and participants in the Cork parade.

  • derrywiner

    Where is Brewster since he is a Limavady Man?
    As I recall the full story of Armstrong’s leaving was not that he was forced from the church because of his contacts with the other side of the road, but he refused to accept that he was failing in his pastoral duties and he was offered a chance to restart, a vote was taken in the church and carried overwhelmingly, to make peace and keep the Rev in place in the church. The Rev decided that this was unacceptable and walked out, followed by a handful of supporters. This could not be reported as it was a closed session meeting in the church, and the media latched onto the line that he was forced out.

    Now that I have played the man, time to play the ball, with a question
    When will the OO be recognised as being comprised of factions, a mirror of unionism itself, with hardline elements, liberals, nutters, and so on, and therefore why dismiss the OO out of hand when a welcome to an obvious less hardline section will encourage them into dialogue ?

  • maca

    Derrywiner
    I think the claim was not that he was forced from the church but was forced from his home (according to the Examiner article), obviously due the the threats he and his family received.

    “an obvious less hardline section”
    Obvious to whom? They all look hardline 😉

  • maca

    Derrywiner
    I think the claim was not that he was forced from the church but was forced from his home (according to the Examiner article), obviously due the the threats he and his family received.

    “an obvious less hardline section”
    Obvious to whom? They all look hardline 😉

  • vespasian

    Maca

    I think it is you who jumps to unfounded assumption.

    I am neither a member or supporter of the OO nor of any one who holds sectarian or bigoted views. I however think that it fair to point out when a person’s stated views differ from those of the position he holds.

    In this case I believe his personal views are not in keeping with his calling as a man of god.

    This would equally apply regardless of the denomination that is represented – that includes the Free Presbyterian Church/Ian Paisley with his continued sectarian remarks and Bishop Daly when he couldn’t quite condemn the actions of the IRA a couple of weeks ago.

    For too long many ministers of all faiths in this country have not been able to come out from behind their vestments and criticise ALL acts of crime, bigotry and sectarianism whenever and where ever they emanate.

    I just think it is sad that when a bridge builder like the Rev Armstrong has by his words and deeds joined the ranks of those that tried to prevent him doing what he wanted, by trying to prevent others doing what they want.

  • maca

    Vespasian
    “I think it is you who jumps to unfounded assumption.”
    ? What assupmtions?

    “In this case I believe his personal views are not in keeping with his calling as a man of god.”

    He is also a human being. His family was theatened, wounds like that don’t heal easily IF at all. I think it is understandable that he might speak out like this.

  • vespasian

    MACA

    ‘Just it’s the all too obvious ‘disagree with or criticise the OO and you musn’t be a proper protestant/christian’ type comment.’

    Does this comment not assume I criticised the Rev Armstrong because he was disagreeing or criticising the OO which he quite entitled to do and I would have agreed with him.

    I was criticising the fact that he was acting in a way that was not in keeping with his position by trying to prevent others doing what they wanted, just as they did to him. The fact that it was in this case the OO is totally irrelevant it could have been the AOH or any other organisation and my feelings would be exactly the same.

  • maca

    “Does this comment not assume…”

    No, it wasn’t my intention. I was thinking it before you posted because we have often seen it here. Saw it yesterday for example in the ‘OO visiting Cork thread’. Apologies if offence taken.

  • JD

    I just heard the OO won’t be marching in Cork–any have details?

  • JD

    That should be “anyone have the details?”

  • James

    You can’t blame Armstrong for still having a personal animosity for those who forced him out of his home, the guy is human, after all. That he considers the ethos of the OO to be part in parcel to the forces that threatened him, well, he should know, shouldn’t he? He was there.

    I do think that he is out of line in wanting to bar the OO from the activities in Cork, though, since this isn’t really about him. Put them in an inclusive environment and see how well they behave. I hope they follow through. They were invited: This is not a in-your-face event like the Collin’s brownshirts threatening to march on Skokie.

    If it tempers orangism so much the better.

    If they behave like louts, well the whole world is watching.

  • Davros

    If they behave like louts, well the whole world is watching.

    You have hit the nail on the head James …

    The WORRY is that they WON’T behave badly and that all those people who rely so heavily on the orange bogeyman they use for propaganda at home and around the world will be exposed for what THEY are.

  • maca

    I’m not expecting the OO to behave badly, on the contrary. Despite what I think of them in general I think they will be well behaved. I’d be more worried about the small number of eejits likely to be hanging about the place.

  • Davros

    Maca- I wasn’t referring to you with my 6:16.
    Was referring to the various activists.

  • maca

    I know, I was just making a general comment 😉

  • Ringo

    Yes JD,

    The Orange Order have pulled out of the parade. They said the Gardaí told them they couldn’t guarantee their safety.

  • Jeremy 1

    If true, I am not surprised that the OO has pulled out. I was going to predict it. The scenario is exactly the same as when the OO were planning to march down Dawson Street: rejected by Protestants, treated with ridicule.

    The OO cannot deal with a context in which they are not top dog and in which they are challenged from within what they regard as their own sectarian constituency.

    Pathetic.

  • Davros

    Hmmmm … In view of events in Cork today they should keep their options open …

  • Jeremy 1

    Dav

    The South is a much more complex and heterogeneous society than you think. People there, Protestants, Roman Catholics, atheists, Jews, will take an attitude to he Orange Order that is independent of their attitude to the events of today. The south is not a mirror image of the north. It represents the success story of political independence: no sectarian hatred, no interfering colonial power pretending to intervene between contending forces.

    The Orange Order is a joke in the South, a joke that southern nationalists get and a nightmare from which they have emerged (protestants included). Unfortunately this Klu Klux Klan look-alike is still taken seriously in the North – and will continue to be taken seriously for as long as that state exists, unfortunately.

    Show me a northern Protestant with the courage demonstrated by Rev Armstrong, who can survive without being intimidated out of the North, and I will re-consider my point of view.

  • Alan2

    What I would point out here is are the sort of people that are prepared to go to Cork and march in St Paddy`s day the same sort of people that threatened the Rev in the above example? I would suggest not. Surely we should be ENCOURAGING the moderate, pluralistic sections within Unionism and the Orange Order in general. You might not like the Orange Order but “they are not going to go away you know”. So you have a basic choice….an Orange Order based on “hate” or an Orange Order based on pluralism moving forward in a new island of Ireland.

  • Davros

    The South is a much more complex and heterogeneous society than you think.

    With respect Jeremy 1 you have no idea what I think or know about the 26 counties.

  • James

    “Unfortunately this Klu Klux Klan look-alike is still taken seriously in the North “

    I don’t mean to single you out since I realize that the KKK is a tempting North American icon to seize upon. It’s just that the present Klan and the OO are not entirely congruent. The Klan of the 20’s, when it widely attracted businessmen, most closely resembles the OO perhaps around the time of Sunningdale. I would hazard that the closest North American comparison you could make to segments of the OO at their recent worst would be the White Citizens Councils in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama after the Brown decision in 1954.

    A proportionate metaphor is that the OO were to the Loyalist paramilitaries as the White Citizens Councils were to the Kluxers.

  • Davros

    “look-alikes” ? Ever see the faithful on show at Seville ? White pointed hats with eye-slits, white robes … THOSE are look-alikes 😉

  • Jeremy 1

    Let them go, who is stopping them – they choose not to. They can’t take the heat of debate and rejection,

    “An Orange Order based on pluralism” – are you serious?

    You might as well ask for a racism based on pluralism or a sectarianism based on tolerance.

    These people require Protestants to tell them that they are unwelcome and an embarrassment. When southern Protestants do it, they run a mile. Come on you tolerant northern Protestants, or are you thinking that if you put your head above the parapet that you will get the same treatment as the Rev Armstrong. Some people writing here have talked about the ‘bravery’ of the McCartney family. Actually: determination, dedication, single-mindedness and a motivation to seek justice.

    On the other side with regard to the Orange order: not a peep, just fear of the consequences of emerging out of a self-imposed sectarian straitjacket. The sectarianism of the Orange Order becomes someone else’s responsibility, not that of those the OO claims to speak on behalf of, Protestants in general.

    What a cop out.

  • Alan2

    “sectarianism based on tolerance.”

    We already have that in the Good Friday Agreement.

    Yes I think it is perfectly plausible and entirely realistic to have a pluralistic society that incorporates many identies, cultures and heritages and such things will take more prominence as Ireland becomes a melting pot of multi-culturalism. You will find pockets of African-Irish, Portugese-Irish, Latvian-Irish so why not Orange-Irish?
    Are you really saying that a bunch of Orangemen prepared to participate in a St Paddys parade in Cork of all places are not being tolerant and plural?

  • Hector

    Nice to see the Belfast Orangemen willing to take chances on a very, very non-traditional route. Now why cant they do that in the Whiterock or the Ardoyne?

  • Jeremy 1

    The KKK
    The Klu Klux Klan was popular in many parts of the US where no blacks lived, on the basis of its… anti-Roman Catholicism. They evolved to allow RC’s to join in the 1980s. However, if the KKK let blacks in or the OO let RCs in they would lose their reason for existence.

    Dav on the South
    I agree Dav, I have no idea of the extent of your ideas about the South, or even if you have any. I only comment on the basis of the drip feed of your ideas on the subject. I will not ask you to elaborate, as you will possibly only regard the request as a provocation.

  • Davros

    Jeremy – there were black members of Orange Lodges while Arthur Griffith was writing of his approval of Slavery in 1913. Think on that.

  • willowfield

    Jeremy1

    The south is not a mirror image of the north. It represents the success story of political independence: no sectarian hatred …

    Evidently there is sectarian hatred in Cork, given the police advice that they couldn’t guarantee the Orangemen’s safety.

    Very sad. A missed opportunity for reconciliation, tolerance and understanding.

  • Alan2

    The Newsletter has it that Orangemen and their families were to parade in the St Patrick`s Day parade including a childrens parade with Filipino, African and Chinese people in a celebration of diversity on the island of Ireland. Concern for the safety of wifes and children and several threats has led to them pulling out.

  • Alan2

    *wives

    I think this is a real shame. I was looking forward to it. I was going to take a spin down to Cork and visit some friends and take in the parade.

  • Jeremy 1

    Willowfield

    Are you seriously suggesting that the opposition of a Protestant clergyman to a gang of bigots is a sign of “sectarian hatred”. As a letter writer in today’s Examiner concludes:

    “The history of the Orange order has been a shameful litany of intimidation and supremacy.

    Toleration of intolerance is not pluralism – it is cowardice. If the violence and division this island has endured for centuries is ever to be overcome, bigotry must be challenged and exposed at every opportunity.”

    Should the KKK be invited to parade on Martin Luther King Day in the US? Would that be a sign of tolerance on the part of African Americans?

    The nonsense about guaranteeing safety is the usual Orange piffle. If I rang the local police station and asked them to “guarantee” my safety for a trip into town, they would quietly put down the telephone.

    People are speaking out on Orange bigotry and the OO can’t take the criticism. They especially cannot deal with the public evidence of intolerance they direct at Protestants who act in a pluralist manner. The social control and intimidation that goes on within unionism is the unseen aspect of this story, that the Rev Armstong has lifted the lid on.

    Instead of speaking out on how the unionist community should reject the bigots there are weasel word above about how much authority the Rev Armstrong has or even suggesting that he is not acting in a Christian manner.

    As I wrote earlier, pathetic.

  • willowfield

    Jeremy1

    Are you seriously suggesting that the opposition of a Protestant clergyman to a gang of bigots is a sign of “sectarian hatred”.

    No, I’m not. Why do you ask?

    Should the KKK be invited to parade on Martin Luther King Day in the US? Would that be a sign of tolerance on the part of African Americans?

    You’re making the mistake of assuming the KKK and the Orange Order are equivalent organisations. Bad analogy. A better one might be inviting the AOH to take part in a local festival in Ballymena or somewhere.

  • Alan2

    “Toleration of intolerance is not pluralism – it is cowardice. If the violence and division this island has endured for centuries is ever to be overcome, bigotry must be challenged and exposed at every opportunity.”

    I agree with you. It is right to point out and condemn such things. The treatment the Rev received in Limivady was intolerant. The question I am asking however is what is intolerant about a bunch of Orangemen going to a very Republican place like Cork City and participating in a St Patrick`s Day parade alonside many other different cultures and religions? What I am suggesting is that there are like most organisations different wings and factions and that you can either villify the whole lot (and thereby giving credence to a siege mentality and give the upper hand to the intolerant lot) or support the more progressive sections. The minister has every right to say what he said but I think he did not think it through very well.

  • Alan2

    “The nonsense about guaranteeing safety is the usual Orange piffle.”

    Threatening phone calls to the festival organisers are piffle?

  • Alan2

    “Should the KKK be invited to parade on Martin Luther King Day in the US? Would that be a sign of tolerance on the part of African Americans?”

    Yawn. Very tiresome. The parade organisers HAVE invited the Orange Order to the parade which undermines your argument.
    Rowan Atkinson: “To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom.

    “The freedom to criticise ideas, any ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.

  • Ringo

    Willowfield –

    Evidently there is sectarian hatred in Cork, given the police advice that they couldn’t guarantee the Orangemen’s safety.

    Very sad. A missed opportunity for reconciliation, tolerance and understanding.

    It is not as simple as that. While I don’t doubt that there are people in Cork against whom a that charge could be levelled (they are everywhere), they are not there in sufficient numbers to cause concern.

    The real problem is idiots who feel they need to prove their loyalty to the republican movement and don’t often get a chance to display their ‘love for their country’, so when an opportunity like this appears they can show off to their northern idols. Incredibly infantile but thats the way it is.

    I think there is a fundamental difference between the way people in the republic would view the orange order versus the nationalists in the north. While it would be disliked intensely in the Republic for its antics over the years, its all very far away. You cannot develop the same level of negative emotion in Cork as nationalist people who actually live in the north do. We don’t feel in the least bit threatened by the Orange Order, nor can the triumphalism accuation be levelled against them here.

    But I toally agree – it is a shame.

  • davidbrew

    “Where is Brewster since he is a Limavady Man?
    As I recall the full story of Armstrong’s leaving was not that he was forced from the church because of his contacts with the other side of the road, but he refused to accept that he was failing in his pastoral duties and he was offered a chance to restart, a vote was taken in the church and carried overwhelmingly, to make peace and keep the Rev in place in the church. the line that he was forced out.”

    Brewster has returned, after two bloody days in her Majesty’s Courts.

    First, David Armstrong was my minister, although since I was in my teens at the time I wasn’t a participant in the brouhaha. Whoever was right at the time, it came down to a man doing his own thing contrary to the wishes of his Kirk session, and in our church that is just not on, as many as Minister has found out to his cost.
    Second, the man had an addiction to the media that made Kilroy look shy and retiring. It’s obviously still capable of flaring up .
    Combine that with what seems to me a martyr complex which has perpetuated the story that he was intimidated out of Northern Ireland just because he wished a priest Happy Christmas, and you hardly have an objective opinion.

    There was no Orange conspiracy to force him out; he left rather than work as a team player with his elders. If he had had a serious mission from God to civilise the backwoods bigots, why up sticks when some nutters start abusive phone calls?- every politician gets dozens of those each month. He participated in a publicity storm that branded the entire town as Bigot central, and then was hurt that some folk were annoyed.Even Mary McAleese had the wit to realise that you can’t expect to be popular in certain circles after you have been critical of them.
    And before the begrudgers start – I rather liked the man and my family would have generally supported him in his church work at the time, but like virtually all of the people of Limavady by the end they just wished he would shut up. But then , this is man who next turned up twenty years on, camera crew in tow, to do a documentary on the freaks from Limavady and was filmed in a phone box ringing up people to be interviewed about him. Some pastoral calling that!

    And so to jeremy, the man who incorporates his IQ in his moniker…
    He posts
    “Should the KKK be invited to parade on Martin Luther King Day in the US? Would that be a sign of tolerance on the part of African Americans?”

    Well, yes, it would be a spectacular sign actually, but the boring old comparison, stale even in the cliche corner which Jeremy inhabits, is of course completely inappropriate. A small hint, BTW, is that the more someone shouts about “themmuns” being bigots, the more likely it is that ..er, he is one himself.

    And if I followed your suggestion that I shouldn’t tolerate intolerance ( one of those phrases redolent of bull) , how do I treat jeremy’s ranting – which he no doubt sees as righteous anger, but many other will see as cant?

    As Oliver Wendell Holmes said “freedom of speech is freedom for those we loathe” Until you’re mature enough to learn that lesson, you don’t deserve a United Ireland, and you’ll never get one.
    So keep it up Jeremy, you make the case for the Union stronger with every manifestation of your intolerance, which is all the worse, because- like David Armstrong’s intolerance- you no doubt rationalise it on the basis of pity because you think it’s better than intolerance based on fear. Wrong again.

  • willowfield

    Ringo

    If there is no credible threat against the Orangemen, then I condemn them for pulling out.

  • Ringo

    Willowfield –

    ‘Credible Threat’ is sufficiently vague to get everyone away without too much embarrassment.

    I don’t expect them to have to put up with any level of abuse here, and I don’t blame them for pulling out. That said, the Orange Order has managed to march without any problem in the north, despite very real ‘credible threats’ of extreme violence.

    I have no difficulty with the statement that the Guards advised them not to march, I have no reason to doubt this. But what sort of threat were the Guards on about? Most likely you are talking about aggressive heckling at worst, not violence, but as this is uncharted territory anything can be inferred.

    The best comparision I can think of is the reception Ian Paisley used to get on the odd occasion he came down south in the 80’s. Hostile groups of republicans heckling and pushing and shoving but realistically there wasn’t a threat of violence. But this would be disasterous for the parade.

    The threshold for saying there was trouble with a parade in the republic cannot be compared with a parade in the north. These are Mom’s Apple Pie events where the forecast of heavy rain is considered a threat, and this year with the capital of culture thing I’m sure the last thing the organisers in Cork wanted was to give idiots a chance to get 15 minutes of fame and turn the event into a PR disaster. So I suspect that might have played a big part too.

  • Ringo

    btw – I’m not suggesting that the majority of parades in the north area anything other than family affairs either.

  • Davros

    Welcome Back David – There must be a lot of happy members of the legal profession in Ireland today 😉

  • davidbrew

    Ringo, thanks for your thoughtful post

    Our problem was that there were children going to be in the parade- both Junior Orangemen and others entirely unconnected with us. I’ve had bricks, bottles etc thrown at me in Londonderry while on parade- I’m big enough and ugly enough to take it, but I have no right to expose others to that risk .

    personally I regret not having the chance to patronise that former Orange family the Beamishes by consuming their excellent product in its home town!