Well done DUP!

I was browsing the DUP website earlier and found this section and one part of it particularly caught my attention.

9: No Rates for Orange Halls

In the negotiations the DUP pressed the Government to reduce the burden on Orange Halls by exempting them from Rates. The government accepted our case. In February the Government forwarded proposals for consultation. These new measures should be in force from next April.

“I am delighted that the DUP has succeeded in persuading the Government to abolish rates from buildings such as Orange Halls. This will be a tremendous boost to many halls all across the Province and a great victory for the Orange Order.””

Bobby Saulters,

Grand Master, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland

Now, this sounds like a terrific achievement on behalf of the Orange Institution, and I am told than the Grand Master has written to every private lodge in Northern Ireland to inform them of this. I however have one concern. It is my understanding that the de-rating of Orange Halls is dependant on them re designating as “Community” halls. This then opens them for use to the entire community, which presumably includes “concerned residents” groups seeking to disrupt Orange parades, the local Sinn Fein branch or perhaps any future IRA old boys club. These groups would I assume want the hall stripped of flags and photographs relating to the Order.

I am also told that should any lodge request that their hall be de-rated, they will be told where to go. There is precisely no evidence of this what so ever! No Orange Hall has been de rated, yet the DUP boasting about an achievement that is yet to materialise!

Well done DUP!

  • Indeed

    ‘It is my understanding that the de-rating of Orange Halls is dependant on them re designating as “Community” halls. This then opens them for use to the entire community, which presumably includes “concerned residents” groups seeking to disrupt Orange parades, the local Sinn Fein branch or perhaps any future IRA old boys club. These groups would I assume want the hall stripped of flags and photographs relating to the Order.’

    Well your ‘understanding’ is wrong then.

  • True Voice

    Dont be absurb this has been covered before and the fact is they remain ORANGE HALLS stop the anti DUP nonsense.

  • Traditional Unionist

    I’ve been amazed this hasn’t broken earlier. This is all correct, they do need to become community halls, which of course could well apply to sporting facilities such as the gaa.

  • yerman

    Michael
    Have you actually anything which backs up your allegation? I suspect not.

    Do you seriously think that the Orange Institution would back this if it meant having to throw open the doors to Sinn Fein/IRA?? The Grand Secretary of the Institution is a solicitor and there are plenty of legal people sitting on Grand Lodge.

    Its interesting that your post looks suspiciously like some anonymous letters from people such as ‘Portstewart Unionist’ (one I happen to remember) which appeared in local papers a while back attacking this development. Those letters also used phrases like “IRA old boy clubs” being supposedly allowed to use Orange Halls if they want.

    If you actually knew anything about the proposals in hand Michael, or even knew anything about the Orange Institution you would know that the vast majority of Orange Halls will fit the bill for rate relief without making one single solitary change – many many halls already have Credit Unions based in them or are already used for local community groups but they have not been getting the recognition they deserve for the role they play in the community.

    The hall will have to show that it is used by the community – not that it is some kind of public facility which can be booked by anyone who wanders in.

    Also, the fact remains that no hall will be forced to apply for this – if an Orange Hall wants to continue paying high rates then they could well continue if they so wish.

    Bobby Saulters did write to every Lodge to inform them of this – there has been no outcry from Orangemen Michael – your desperate scaremongering will not work.

    We all know that the UUP are having a terrible campaign. There must be a new scandal coming soon – been at least 12 hours without one now. The DUP havent even had to attack the UUP – they’re doing a good enough job of destroying themselves. However, it seems that the UUP muck-raking team are hard at work trying to distract the Ulster public.

  • Indeed

    trad unionist,

    it hasmt broken earler because it isnt true. i am aware however that telling the truth is a foreign concept within the UUP

  • yerman

    by the way Michael.

    What did the UUP ever deliver for the Orange Institution, or for anyone in the unionist community? Jealousy will get you nowhere.

  • Unionist

    The UUP are becomming a disgrace their flimsey attack on the DUP’s visit to Dublin backfired big time when it came to light that the DUP were trying to seek investment in Northern Ireland.

  • tiny

    The hall will have to show that it is used by the community – not that it is some kind of public facility which can be booked by anyone who wanders in.

    Also, the fact remains that no hall will be forced to apply for this – if an Orange Hall wants to continue paying high rates then they could well continue if they so wish.

    Yerman

    From what you’ve said Michael is correct, I suspect he is also better informed than most of the bloggers, as for Saulters letter, it was probably written for him

  • yerman

    Apologies for the multiple posts – but all the holes in this, yet another rabid UUP post, take some coverage.

    Of course No Orange Hall has been de rated”. Thats’s because it wont be in place till next April. These things take time and cant just be implemented overnight. The DUP rightly claim the credit for it because they actually took the bother to get some concessions for the unionist community when they were talking to the Government. Tell us what the UUP ever delivered?

    Its not a huge surprise that you find the de-rating of Orange Halls so offensive Michael. Aren’t you the same Michael Shilliday who as editor of the Young Unionist website posted your views opposing a Commissioner to help the innocent victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland.

    Why dont you just come out and tells us all – you actually just oppose anything which may in some way benefit the unionist community. It would be much easier than attacking anything which might help them.

  • yerman

    Tiny
    There is a huge difference between a hall being used by the community and being a ‘community hall’. A hall which happens to hold a mother and toddler group for local mothers fits that bill but it is in no way some kind of ‘community hall’.

    Like I said – virtually all halls will fit the requirements for derating when they are introduced without making one change to their running, who uses them currently and they most certainly will not be required to take down flags, insigia or any memorabilia related to the Orange Insitution – when you cant win the argument it seems that the UUP just resort to lies.

    List of things the UUP now opposes:
    Jobs and investment for NI
    A commissioner for innocent victims
    De-rating of Orange Halls or anything which might mean that Orangemen are saved from paying the second biggest bill faced by any hall in a particular year.

  • Concerned unionist

    The problem for the UUP is that at least half the Dup members are in the lodge.

    Regarding the journalist Suzanne Breen is she still in favour with the DUP.

  • Alan2

    A community hall simply needs to demonstrate that it is used b the community and is available for use by the community..a band, a credit union, ulster-scots groups, youth groups, administrative centres for the likes of foot and mouth, gospel missions etc….

    …..
    wait…Orange Halls are already used for such purposes.

  • johnhidd

    There is nothing more pathetic, Mr. Shilliday, than the sight of the liberal pluralists remaining in the UUP pretending at election time to be supporting a traditional unionist position.

    The time when the UUP could play the Orange Card is past.

  • Roger

    I agree Trimble and Co are quiet durring the marching season does he still even march.

  • maca

    Why should the halls not have to pay rates?

  • davidbrew

    Of course Michael Orangemen all that when the Turtle was First Minister, and actually able to do something about this, he refused to meet a delegation from the Institution to discuss it, though he is supposedly a member. Dr Paisley- who is not a member- met the delegation and lobbied for the change.
    So next Thursday, he pays the price. Didn’t you read the Sunday Times yesterday? All the usual gutless anonymous UUP sources have written him off, while publicly supporting him. it’s just you and Joan Elliott left.

  • Jo

    God, youre a bitter man. Some years ago your bitterness would have been right at home in the party you have now joined.

    Sadly for you, it seems to be becoming much more progressive, despite attracting detritus..

  • Roger

    Timble deserves political meltdown but I’m worried that a complacent DUP vote will see it not happening.