Confusion over Orange position on talks…

CHRIS Thornton continues to track the heated argument within Orangism concerning the recent parade negotiations in Derry involving Orangemen and republican community representatives. Rev Brian Kennaway has said members of Grand Lodge, the Order’s central leadership, “had already approved of and encouraged” the talks with residents’ groups in Londonderry and Belfast – even though the talks were later criticised by the Order’s Grand Master.

The Tele reported:

In their July 1 statement, Mr [Robert] Saulters [the Orange Grand Master] and Mr [Stephen] Dickinson [the Deputy] said they were “dismayed” by the reports of talks involving Orangemen and residents in Derry and Belfast.

They said they were “disturbed” by the meetings, and “regret that members got involved in such meetings”.

In his statement, Mr Kennaway said it was “an undeniable fact” that Orange leaders were aware of the meetings.

He added that “the Senior Officers of Grand Lodge had already approved of and encouraged such talks”.

Mr Kennaway did not elaborate, but sources have told the Belfast Telegraph that the meetings were raised at a Grand Lodge meeting in June.

If those Orangemen who participated in those talks involving nationalists did so without technically breaching Grand Lodge policy AND with the foreknowledge and approval “of Senior Officers of Grand Lodge”, then the leader of the Orange Order and his Deputy are at odds with their own Officers. Who is in charge here? Why the change of heart from Saulters, if he knew about the talks in advance?

(More on this previously here.)

  • Dick Doggins

    There should never be talks with terrorist supporting, republican, unrepresentative residents groups….The Uvers and their confused brothers in arms are a different matter though…..their ours…

  • fair_deal

    I do sincerely wish the media would actually take five minutes to learn how the Orange Order works and what its policy actually is. The institution has been around for over two hundred years so it isn’t like they haven’t had the time. Also the media (the BBC in particular) have been playig a game of baiing the OO to get a row going. (In all this Kennaway is an irrelevance – he once had the ear of Grand lodge and blew it and he can’t get over that).

    First – “then the leader of the Orange Order and his Deputy” – There is NO leader of the Orange Order. The OO has a highly devolved power structure. Under the rules and ordinances of the OO the Grand Master’s powers are restricted to acting as a chair of grand lodge and the central committee (that is it). Under Martin Smyth’s period as Grand Master he took on many additonal duties than previous grand masters ie banner dedications, hall openings etc. This was possible as a sitting MP with security he could very easily be driven anywhere he wanted. This led many to expect the same from his succesors. In the reforms of the OO (forced by the grassroots rebellion of the Spirit of Drumcree) the Deputy Grand Master positions were changed to provide people to help the Grand Master cope with this workload. The position has even less power than the Grand Master.

    At a Grand Lodge meeting earlier this year the Strategy group presented a position paper on parades. This devolved decision-making on the approach to parades to the relevant local level and left it to them to determine whether the residents group was a genuine reflection of community opinion or a republican front. This policy was written in light of developments like the approach by the Chamber of Commerce and the establishment of the Parades Forum in North and West Belfast and it enabled participation in such appraoches. Also there is a distinction between talking about the arrangements for a parade and the right to parade, (this seems lost of the average reporter here.)

    Therefore, the statement by the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master had to admit that what had happended in Londonderry wasn’t a breach of the letter of the policy. This all smacks of an individual who was personally unhappy about the revised policy pushing another into a statement.

    In all this the Apprentice Boys model is often hailed as an example but it is worthy of examination.

    1. Who was the deal with? For all the media shouting the real deal was between the ABOD and the SDLP. As the recent election showed Londonderry is still an SDLP city. This left the Republican Movement with the choice and they chose to acquiesce.
    2. No changes to the parade route – The ABOD have not changed the route of their parades in August or December – it was brought forward an hour on the 12th August and the date moved forward in December.
    3. Parade management – The ABOD gave an undertaking to improve the stewarding of the parade. They received financial support for the training.
    4. An additional parade – the ABOD recommenced the tradition of parading the walls.
    5. A festival to complement the parade – The ABOD received funding for this.

    In effect the ABOD for two small changes on timing of the parades and commitment to better management – got their routes, got an additional parade, funding and a festival. Who wouldn’t sign up to such a deal? Nationalist Derry got a better managed parade and lots of good publicity.

  • wes

    Bobby Saulters seems to be confused on a number of issues.

    He is against the order speaking to local Nationalist communities with regard to contentious parades yet during his speech to the brethren on the 12th of July he asked loyalist paramilitaries to “call off the feuds and enjoy the company of each other”

    A very strong condemnation of terrorism from the leader of the orange order !!

  • steve

    Mr Saulters is hardly likely to condemn loyalist terrorism.

    Many of the bands taking part in the 12th parades have strong links to the various paramilitary groups

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    “Many of the bands taking part in the 12th parades have strong links to the various paramilitary groups”

    Did you not mean to say a few in only a few areas? There’s no need to exaggerate.

  • Gonzo

    fair_deal

    Trying to argue that the Grand Master of the Orange Order isn’t its leader because he has few powers is a bit silly now, really.

    The Queen has few powers, but she’s still the head of the state ie, leader.

    Nor am I convinced that technical arguments will convince anyone outside Orangeism.

    However, even the policy you mention must have taken into account a decision by local Orangement on whether the residents group in Derry was “a genuine reflection of community opinion or a republican front”.

    If they decided it was worth participating in – which you seem to think it was – then why on earth is someone as influential as Mr Saulters publicly denouncing those Orangemen who had the balls to take a decision and achieve what they did?

    Hardly the most tactful way to go about things, especially if you knew in advance of the talks set-up, is it?

  • irishman

    “Many of the bands taking part in the 12th parades have strong links to the various paramilitary groups”

    Did you not mean to say a few in only a few areas? There’s no need to exaggerate.

    FYU

    Let’s indulge in a bit of ‘naming and shaming’, shall we?

    Stoneyford Pride of the Village- a front for the Orange Volunteers

    Shankill Protestant Boys- UDA on Shankill

    The late Jim Grug Gregg’s notorious Rathcoole UDA flute band which annually caused conflict in Derry until they were banned.

    All of which parade with Orangemen- ironically, the first one paraded through Glenavy with Jeffrey Donaldson on their way to the field.

    There are many more, FYU. Denying realities isn’t going to help your cause.

  • steve

    irishman

    The link below will give you a good insight into the calibre of people marching in orange order parades

    http://www.c-y-c.com/html/dedication_night.html

  • The Devil

    I folowed the link above and thought all the boys looked really smart in their lovely uniforms, I know I know it’s a sexual thing but what to hell…..

    But tell me what was the custard pie fight all about.

    And why have a custard pie fight on the site but no custard pie fight on the links

  • G2

    Steve,

    You are correct, Many flute (Billy Boy) bands from (Belfast,& the surrounding area) are affiliated with various paramilitary groups. But FYU is correct also when he says not all bands are classed in this category. Many rural ( Pipe, Accordion & brass) bands are not associated with paramilitaries. These better bands whose heavy instruments become an impediment in the long Belfast parade prefer to go to the shorter country parades in Enniskillen and elsewhere throughout rural Northern Ireland. In fact most of the Country lodges hire the same band year after year.

  • willowfield

    I can understand why Orangemen don’t want to meet with sectarian hate groups, whose raison d’etre seems to be to promote sectarian apartheid and physically to assault Orangemen.

    That said, it might be a clever move to call their bluff. These Provo front groups claim that all they want is dialogue, “no talk, no walk”, etc. If so, the mere act of talking to them removes the hate-groups’ justification for opposing the parade (violently or otherwise). Seems like a good outcome from the Orange POV.

  • fair_deal

    Gonzo

    “Trying to argue that the Grand Master of the Orange Order isn’t its leader because he has few powers is a bit silly now, really”

    The arguments are not technicalities they are to show the media hubbub is more in their own imaginations than a reality in Orangeism. It is also a fundamental media misrepresentation of Unionist and Protestant political culture re: leadership. Its like the nonsense of referring to the Moderator of the General Assembly as the leader of the church – if this person were really the leader it would be an institution that finds itself making lots of volte faces. It means decision-making is a much more collective process than a person with a title making a statement.

    Also on Londonderry you fall into a classic misrepresentation of what went on as simply Loyal Order v Resident Group. The CoC approach involved bringing in much broader representation than those two groups. They brought a cross-section of the groups and individuals of the city that was fully reflective of all forms of opinions thus it was a “genuine reflection of community opinion”.

    In my prevous post I outlined the scenario of why I think this happened.

  • Wichser

    willowfield

    At what point does a ‘provo front’ become in your eyes a legitimate representaive residents’ group ? Do resident groups only attain legitimacy when they bend the knee to orangeism ?

  • Gonzo

    fair deal

    I don’t buy it. At all.

    There’s nothing in what you say that convinces me on the issue of who is leader in a particular organisation. Powers have nothing to do with leadership. You seem to think that they do. I have no idea why, since it would seem otherwise pointless to elect/appoint a Moderator/ Grand Master/ whatever in any organisation. For example, Saulters protested against the Harryville protest (in person). It didn’t matter what powers he had, he demonstrated – whether you agreed with his stance or not – a degree of leadership. See what I mean now?

    You seem to think I am equating some ability to make executive decisions with ‘leadership’. I have no idea why anyone would necessarily make that connection.

    Also on Londonderry you fall into a classic misrepresentation of what went on as simply Loyal Order v Resident Group. The CoC approach involved bringing in much broader representation than those two groups.

    Absolutely wrong again. I’d like to you to provide evidence of this, since I am well aware of the context for the talks.

  • fair_deal

    Gonzo

    “I don’t buy it. At all.”

    If you fail to understand this deeply significant part of Unionist and Protestant political culture then so be it. It is why selling something to a leader doesn’t mean its been sold to the Unionist or Protestant communities. Change involves significant internal debate, if you short circuit that approach in Unionism you run into problems.

    The powers instilled in rules or custom to a position are a clear indicator of what importance they attach to it.

    Saulters and Dickenson issued a statement that had NO effect. It did not change Grand Lodge policy. It didn’t come up as a topic in the Twelfth fields. It has not led to any arguments at the different levels of the institution. Saulters and Dickenson stated their views and the reaction was basically a collective shrug of shoulders.

    Bobby Saulters attended Harryville with a number of Orange brethren and the backing of the Institution.

    “Absolutely wrong again. I’d like to you to provide evidence of this, since I am well aware of the context for the talks.”

    The evidence is in your post of 7.26pm you said “a decision by local Orangement on whether the residents group in Derry was “a genuine reflection of community opinion or a republican front”.” Therefore you presented the Londonderry process as between the Orangemen and the residents group when it was much broader than thise two groups.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Irishman,

    The original sentence was:

    “Many of the bands taking part in the 12th parades have strong links to the various paramilitary groups”

    You named three, to me that is not many. Does anyone know the numbers of Orange/ Protestant bands that annually take part in the 12th?

    “Denying realities”

    Since when have I been denying realities? I am making the point that the VAST majority of bands taking part in the 12th are not related to paramilitaries in the slightest way. Instead of me ‘denying realities’ I think it’s a case of a few people making up little sectarian fantasies: well that’s what it looks like anyway.

  • Gonzo

    fair deal

    I do understand the point you are making about the devolved and democratic (often overly democratic, if you ask me!) nature of decision-making in certain Protestant and unionist organisations. I still don’t buy your argument. A leader is a leader is a leader – otherwise there would simply be no such position as Grand Master. The powers that the position confers is neither here nor there, since the Grand Master can exercise influence beyond his ‘powers’.

    The evidence is in your post of 7.26pm you said “a decision by local Orangement on whether the residents group in Derry was “a genuine reflection of community opinion or a republican front”.” Therefore you presented the Londonderry process as between the Orangemen and the residents group when it was much broader than thise two groups.

    Well, I may not have mentioned it, but the phrasing I deliberately used – “parade negotiations in Derry involving Orangemen and republican community representatives” – still stands as correct. The involvement of the CoC doesn’t change the fact that nationalist residents were also involved. I believe I made mention of the CoC in the other thread, but the omission in this one wasn’t to obfuscate, so apologies for any confusion.

    However, none of this alters any of what I have argued.

  • willowfield

    Wichser

    At what point does a ‘provo front’ become in your eyes a legitimate representaive residents’ group ?

    When it is no longer a front group for the Provos.

    Do resident groups only attain legitimacy when they bend the knee to orangeism ?

    No.

  • Wichser

    When then ? How do you define a provo front group please ?

  • willowfield

    How about … A group controlled or manipulated by the Provos whose purpose is to serve the Provo agenda.

  • Wichser

    Willowfield

    How does one go abour proving this please ? And how do you define ‘a provo agenda’ please ?

  • willowfield

    Not sure how you’d go about “proving” it. I guess some kind of investigation.

    Provo agenda? Broadly, the aims of the Provisional movement. Specifically in regard to these groups aims of political and territorial control, community dominance and the maintenance of sectarian tension and division.

  • reality check

    The orange order openly recruits paramilitaries.Watch the twelfth in belfast.The amount of bands with uda/uvf links?countless and they make no attempt to hide it

  • reality check

    The orange order openly recruits paramilitaries.Watch the twelfth in belfast.The amount of bands with uda/uvf links?countless and they make no attempt to hide it

  • Wichser

    Willowfield

    Like I say, your definition of aceptable residents groups are those which refuse to bend the knee the orangeism. News just in, citizens have the right to choose their own representatives whether other people like it or not. Who’d have thought it, hmmm ?

  • bertie

    chosing representatives (or having them chosen for you) who are members of Sinn Fein and/or who have terrorist connections so that the OO will not talk to them and then be condemned for not doing so is not the same thing as not bending the knee to orangeism.

    I can’t remeber Adam’s exact phrase re this but it was something to the effect that these things didn’t just happen on their own.

    I’m not saying that there are not geniune concerns that some residents may have but this is not the right was to resolve them.

  • Wichser

    bertie

    So what you’re saying is that in a district where the existing representatives are SF members or supporters or suspected supporters or indeed who aren’t SF supporters at all but happen to have views which are somewhat similar to those that are specifically on the issue of the OO, if not on any other issue, that dialogue is out of the question and it’s the residents/electorate’s own fault and tough luck and the orange veto prevails, is that about the size of it ?

  • bertie

    I support the OO in their desire not to talk to Sinn Fein/IRA. If the shoe was on the other foot then I wouldn’t expect nationalists to talk to PUP/UDP etc. but then I wouldn’t have these people representing me in the first place.

  • Wichser

    bertie

    Best off if nobody speaks to nobody and we either stay in the rut we’re in or, better still, go back to the bad old days – that’s what your approach points to. How dare the OO lecture anyone on tolerance and mutual respect when they refuse to recognise the opinions of other human beings by speaking or listening to them, looking them in the eye, shaking their hand or sharing the same room as them. Another calculated unionist insult and an affront to a decent society.

  • fair_deal

    wishcer

    If someone objected to your right to vote do you talk to them? No. Why should any other fundamental rights be any different?

  • bertie

    Shows what a warped world we live in when not wanting to consort with terrorists is an affornt to decent society. As for calculated unionist insult, I would support a caluculated nationalist insult in shuning the UDP/PUP/UFF/UVF.

  • Wichser

    bertie

    Not every resident or every resident representative is a terrorist bertie, that’s a collective libel. Not all members of SF are either for that matter.

    I’m not aware of nationalists shunning loyalists anyway, are you ?

  • reality check

    Sf and pup have talked before as the dup refuse to cast of their sectarian shackles

  • willowfield

    Wichser

    Like I say, your definition of aceptable residents [sic] groups are those which refuse to bend the knee the orangeism.

    I’m unaware of having given any definition of “acceptable residents’ groups”. If I had, though, it certainly wouldn’t be as you have stated. Kindly refrain from misrepresenting me.

    News just in, citizens have the right to choose their own representatives whether other people like it or not.

    Obviously.

  • Wichser

    Willowfield

    I haven’t misrepresented you. Why don’t you provide such a definition then, don’t you understand the question ?

  • bertie

    Wichner
    bertie

    “Not every resident or every resident representative is a terrorist bertie, that’s a collective libel.”

    It would be if I had written this but I didn’t.

    “Not all members of SF are either for that matter.”
    Maybe not directly but they are in the political wing of a terorist organisation.

    “I’m not aware of nationalists shunning loyalists anyway, are you ?”

    If by loyalist you mean PUP/UDP/UVF etc. then we should all shun them.

  • oval s

    Is Sammy Wilson prepared to condemn the uvf.?

    Mr Wilson has appeared at several events in support of the organisation

  • willowfield

    Wichser

    I haven’t misrepresented you.

    You have. You said that I gave a definition of “aceptable residents [sic] groups are those which refuse to bend the knee the orangeism”. I didn’t, nor did I say anything to indicate such a definition.

    Why don’t you provide such a definition then,

    I was never asked for such a definition. What do you mean by “acceptable”? Acceptable in what sense? Acceptable to whom?

    don’t you understand the question ?

    What question?

  • fair_deal

    oval s

    What were these several events?

  • Brian Boru

    The Orange march in Donegal always passes peacefully and the local Catholics put up with it but the context is different because Donegal is free from British rule and hence the marches are not seen as triumphalising about how Britain rules the area.

    Less than 1% of Orange parades in NI are even banned or re-routed so I fail to see why some Unionists and Orange people are so worked up about the Parades Commission, calling for it to be scrapped etc. Has violence greatly reduced since its inception? The answer is yes. Thus, the P.C. must be seen as a success – unless your agenda is to return to the annual civil wars the marching-season used to entail e.g. 95/6.

    If we in the South were still in the Union and we had to put up with Orange parades going up and down the streets we would resent it as an act of triumphalism i.e. “we won the battle of the boyne”, “this area is ruled by Britain” etc. I think Northern Nationalists are to be commended for the restraint they show in putting up with all but a few OO parades through their areas.

    Rights come with responsibilities and the right to march is no different in that respect. UDA/UVF banners on OO parades are most offensive, and I doubt the Unionists would accept an IRA parade through the centre of a town like Ballymena. The Oliver Cromwell OO banners are also offensive because he massacred 300,000 Irish Catholics and passed a law banning them living east of the river Shannon in the West of Ireland. I fail to see why he should be celebrated given the above, but also given that he set up a dictatorship after using parliamentary government as a trojan horse to seize power, before handing power to his son. Not really very different to his predessors except more oppressive.

  • willowfield

    Brian Boru

    Has violence greatly reduced since its inception? The answer is yes.

    Is it? My understanding is that violent attacks on parades seems to have increased.

    If we in the South were still in the Union and we had to put up with Orange parades going up and down the streets we would resent it as an act of triumphalism i.e. “we won the battle of the boyne”, “this area is ruled by Britain” etc.

    Your resentment would be misplaced.

    I think Northern Nationalists are to be commended for the restraint they show in putting up with all but a few OO parades through their areas.

    Commended for normal, respectful behaviour?

    Rights come with responsibilities and the right to march is no different in that respect.

    I’m unaware of anyone who claims otherwise.

    UDA/UVF banners on OO parades are most offensive

    Too true. In what parades are these displayed?

    The Oliver Cromwell OO banners are also offensive because he massacred 300,000 Irish Catholics and passed a law banning them living east of the river Shannon in the West of Ireland. I fail to see why he should be celebrated given the above, but also given that he set up a dictatorship after using parliamentary government as a trojan horse to seize power, before handing power to his son. Not really very different to his predessors except more oppressive.

    You need to try and view things from a different perspective. Cromwell is actually a bit of a hero of the left in Great Britain.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Brian Boru,

    “the local Catholics put up with it”

    It is a relatively short and passes very few houses, the few houses that are on the route look to be mainly holiday homes. It also it the busiest weekend in the year for the village. Donegal parade

    “but the context is different because Donegal is free from British rule”

    I don’t see how that really changes anything for many of the bands are northern and the layout of the service etc. is identical with northern 12ths. The British national anthem is also sung there.

    “Has violence greatly reduced since its inception? The answer is yes”

    Has it? I’m not too sure. Any evidence that it has?

    “UDA/UVF banners on OO parades are most offensive”

    Yes they would be, but remember they are not very common.

  • DerryTerry

    FYU, the history of the Donegal parade, particularly relating to the location and timing is very interesting.

    As the Southern state evolved it became increasingly difficult for Donegal Orangemen to get the 12th off, and to parade im major population centres without attracting attention to the OO, their membership of it or annoying non Orange locals.

    As a result the march was moved to the weekend before the 12th and taken to the middle of nowhere.

    So the OO continue to march and no one gets annoyed. Sounds good to me.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    DerryTerry,

    “As a result the march was moved to the weekend before the 12th”

    Well it made sense didn’t it? It gives the northern bands a chance to march in the Irish parade and then the Irish a chance to march in the British parade.

    “and to parade im major population”

    That is understandable enough for there are not many towns in Donegal that would welcome an Orange parade.

    “and taken to the middle of nowhere.”

    Well its not exactly cut off from the real world but then again it is not a place that encounters many traffic jams. If you go there now throughout the summer you may be surprised at the number of tourists.

    “So the OO continue to march and no one gets annoyed. Sounds good to me”

    Yup, I wouldn’t say it’s going to be banned anytime soon.

  • Brian Boru

    “I don’t see how that really changes anything for many of the bands are northern and the layout of the service etc. is identical with northern 12ths. The British national anthem is also sung there.”

    Willow, it changes things because Northern Nationalists consider the Orange parades a rubbing in of what is to them an unwelcome fact – the Union with Britain. The absence of this Union in Donegal means that this bone of contension is taken out of the equation in that the Donegal people are no longer ruled by Britain.

    “Has it? I’m not too sure. Any evidence that it has? “

    Yes of course violence has reduced. Recall the scenes of anarchy as tens of thousands of Orangemen layed siege to Drumcree in 95/96/98, and to the Lower Ormeau Road, and to the huge mobs of Unionists involved in putting up roadblocks all over NI. And then the killings of Michael McGoldrick and the mixed-marriage children in 1998. And the millions in damage to businesses from wanton vandalism by extremists from both sides – both especially from the Orangemen and their supporters.

    The OO was set up specifically to celebrate Protestant victories over Catholics. This makes it a sectarian society. Even so, I am opposed to attacks on these parades – even if they are playing “we’re up to our knees in Fenian blood surrender or you’ll die” – the sentiments of which are not exactly peaceful.

  • fair_deal

    Brian Boru

    The petrol bomb attack that murdered the three Quinn children was shown in court to be connected to a long-running feud between a loyalist and the children’s father, nothing to do with parades.

  • willowfield

    Brian Boru

    Willow, it changes things because Northern Nationalists consider the Orange parades a rubbing in of what is to them an unwelcome fact – the Union with Britain.

    Not sure why you’re responding to me on that one, but if true, northern nationalists need to alter their views. There’ll be Orange parades whether NI is united with Great Britain or not. There were Orange parades before the Union.

    Yes of course violence has reduced. Recall the scenes of anarchy as tens of thousands of Orangemen layed siege to Drumcree in 95/96/98, and to the Lower Ormeau Road, and to the huge mobs of Unionists involved in putting up roadblocks all over NI. And then the killings of Michael McGoldrick and the mixed-marriage children in 1998. And the millions in damage to businesses from wanton vandalism by extremists from both sides – both especially from the Orangemen and their supporters.

    Surely most of the Drumcree violence to which you refer was in response to Parades Commission decisions?

    The OO was set up specifically to celebrate Protestant victories over Catholics. This makes it a sectarian society. Even so, I am opposed to attacks on these parades – even if they are playing “we’re up to our knees in Fenian blood surrender or you’ll die” – the sentiments of which are not exactly peaceful.

    I don’t think “the Billy Boys” is an Orange tune. It’s certainly rarely played in Orange parades. BTW, the purpose of the Order is not so much to “celebrate Protestant victories over Catholics”, as to celebrate the survival and ongoing existence of Protestants and Protestantism in Ireland.

  • fair_deal

    Willowfield

    The words to Billy Boys is a scottish loyalist song from 1930’s Glasgow if memory serves (it began its life as the Brigeton Boys). I tend to find that virulently anti-catholic songs tend to have a scottish origin – in ulster and ireland there is a political element to our disagreements while in scotland its basically just two groups who don’t like each other.

    The tune is much older, the tune is also known as shanghia lil.

  • Brian Boru

    “Surely most of the Drumcree violence to which you refer was in response to Parades Commission decisions?”.

    Are you excusing the violence? I personally recall being deeply angry seeing fellow Irish people being subjected to such outrageous intimidation. And over 1 parade. Is it really too much to ask for the OO to put up with a tiny 1% of their parades being re-routed or banned every year? For that is the % we are talking about i.e. 27 out of 3,500.

    Willow, the OO is about raking up the past every year in a very ostentatious manner. This is reflected in how during the 50’s and 60’s, the Stormont regime actually re-routed OO parades through Catholic areas, in order to cause trouble.

    In a democratic state, the law of the land must be upheld, and the OO has often in the past refused to accept this. The courage of Blair in standing up to the Orange coat-trailing bullies since 1998 is the reason why the annual civil wars over OO parades have been reduced to localised incidents.

  • white stick

    “The petrol bomb attack that murdered the three Quinn children was shown in court to be connected to a long-running feud between a loyalist and the children’s father, nothing to do with parades.”

    fair deal

    This was hardly an isolated attack within the Ballymoney estate during the Drumcree protests.

    Were all the other Catholic families threatened with death part of this ‘long running feud’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/northern_ireland/focus/131883.stm

  • willowfield

    fair deal

    The words to Billy Boys is a scottish loyalist song from 1930’s Glasgow if memory serves (it began its life as the Brigeton Boys).

    That is correct.

    The tune is much older, the tune is also known as shanghia lil.

    Didn’t know that. So it’s an Orange tune, but not an Orange song?

    Brian Boru

    Are you excusing the violence?

    No. Are you?

    I personally recall being deeply angry seeing fellow Irish people being subjected to such outrageous intimidation. And over 1 parade. Is it really too much to ask for the OO to put up with a tiny 1% of their parades being re-routed or banned every year? For that is the % we are talking about i.e. 27 out of 3,500.

    Is this avoidance of the point an admission that I was correct to say that most of the violence you referred to was, contrary to your original claim, in response to Parades Commission decisions? And therefore your claim – that violence has decreased since the establishment of the Commission – is wrong?

    Willow, the OO is about raking up the past every year in a very ostentatious manner.

    You choose to use negative language. Would you say the AMerican 4 July celebrations were about “raking up the past”? How about Guy Fawkes’ Night? Bastille Day? Christmas? [insert countless other celebrations of historic events across the world]?

    This is reflected in how during the 50’s and 60’s, the Stormont regime actually re-routed OO parades through Catholic areas, in order to cause trouble.

    Any evidence for this?

    In a democratic state, the law of the land must be upheld, and the OO has often in the past refused to accept this.

    And the relevance of this comment? Has anyone claimed otherwise?

    The courage of Blair in standing up to the Orange coat-trailing bullies since 1998 is the reason why the annual civil wars over OO parades have been reduced to localised incidents.

    There never used to be an “annual civil war over OO parades”. The widespread violence only began after the PIRA ceasefire when the Provos adopted a new strategy of campaigning against them. The first Garvaghy Road protest was 1995, the first parade after the Provo ceasefire. The hate campaign in Ardoyne only began after they succeeded in getting the Garvaghy Road parade permanently banned and the Orange more or less gave up.

  • fair_deal

    willowfield

    I do not know the origin of the tune. I presume like ‘The Sash’ the tune has been known under a varity of names down through the decades and even centuries.

    whitestick

    A statement was made about the Quinn children. This was inaccurate on the basis of the evidence presented to a court. Evidence that was strong enough to convict. Those five families were the victims of sectarian intimidation, plain and simple, but it doesn’t change the circumstances of the Quinn murders.