"something almost pathological here"

There almost seems to be a concerted effort to play down the extent of the violence in Ardoyne on 12th July.. and other attempts at causing destruction over the past week.. possibly for an obvious reason. So, from Thursday’s Irish Times, Gerry Moriarty’s eye-witness account of the riot in Ardoyne is worth noting.. as is his comment – “Sure, there is global terror and suicide bombers on our London doorstep but that must not interfere with our ancient hatreds.”

Riots were as ugly, raw and bitter as it is possible to imagine – 14/07/2005

Republican leaders were not able to control a deeply disaffected crowd, writes Gerry Moriarty

\\We were in the middle of the small roundabout on the Crumlin Road. To our left were the Ardoyne shops, to the front, down the Crumlin Road, hundreds of nationalists were bombarding police lines with all manner of missiles: petrol bombs, bricks, masonry, paint bombs and golf balls fired from catapults.

My colleague Dan Keenan was standing on top of a wall beside the roundabout trying to count the number of rioters. I was below him on the path. A few seconds earlier there was an explosion that sounded like a blast bomb, although some colleagues thought it was just a loud fire cracker.

Then there was another ear-splitting blast close to the island at the centre of the roundabout. I saw SDLP representative Margaret Walsh being knocked to the ground by its force, but happily being helped to her feet by police in riot gear.

A journalist was lying on the ground close by in great pain. The shrapnel and/or casing from the blast bomb had ripped through the back of his leg, exposing bone. How could the rioters manage to throw the bombs, which are designed to kill, such a distance from the Crumlin Road? Then to our immediate left, from the corner of the eye almost, we noticed objects landing beside us from the roofs of the Ardoyne shops: two or three blast bombs.

The police in their Darth Vader outfits were screaming at us to get back. I ran towards the nearby loyalist Twaddell Avenue and, as I avoided a blast bomb on the ground, oddly had time to assess how perfectly cylindrical the steel object was, how some careful engineering went into its creation. Then there was a lightning flash and another blast, but fortunately for me no sense of any impact.

Whether it was that or another blast bomb which exploded I am not sure, as at least one of the devices failed to detonate.

\A few minutes later as police were assisting the badly injured journalist – whose injuries thankfully are not life-threatening – another blast bomb exploded within yards of them. I saw one police officer crumble to the ground. Ambulances came up Twaddell Avenue to ferry the injured away. The ambulance crews wore helmets. Police were taking hit after hit after hit. They maintained their discipline and restraint.

That all happened between 7.48pm and 8.30pm, the bulk of the violence erupting after the Orange feeder parade had returned past the Ardoyne shops. It was when the British army and police were trying to leave the scene that the worst of the trouble flared further down the Crumlin Road. Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly, who were trying to calm the troublemakers, were drenched by police water cannon.

Adams and Kelly said the police were too precipitate in reacting, adding that their dousing only served to provoke the crowd. From where we stood, as the rioters showered the police lines for almost three sustained hours, this crowd, some of them shockingly young, didn’t need any such provocation.

The majority of people in Ardoyne did not want this trouble, but the most senior of republicans couldn’t stop it. People talk of recreational rioting but, as observed before, there was something almost pathological here.

The IRA statement will come when it will, before the end of the month, or sometime in August, or maybe September. We don’t know for certain, and maybe the violence on Tuesday will affect the timing and content of that announcement.

What’s in that statement is hugely important politically, of course. But what happened up at Ardoyne goes beyond that. It’s about people employing potentially creative energy towards hating each other, and that won’t be healed in the short term, or by a reformed Assembly – although a political deal would have some impact on the streets.

What happened at Ardoyne was as bitter, ugly and raw as you can imagine. We are told the IRA statement won’t involve a commitment to policing; that is for another long, draining period of negotiation. But who then will police difficult nationalist areas if, as was evident on Tuesday night in Ardoyne, head honcho republicans couldn’t control a deeply disaffected, nihilistic group of young people?

As we watched the rioting I couldn’t avoid resurrecting that phrase of Churchill’s, almost hackneyed now, about those dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone always being with us, no matter the tumultuous conflicts elsewhere. Sure, there is global terror and suicide bombers on our London doorstep but that must not interfere with our ancient hatreds.

Ardoyne, with its frightening suicide levels, needs better than this. Northern Ireland needs better than this. But where’s the solution? For decades such rioting served the interests of the paramilitaries. But this monster seemed out of control in Ardoyne: it certainly appeared beyond the control of Sinn Féin and the local IRA.

So at the end of the Twelfth the Orangemen marched and the nationalists got their riot. This stuff runs dangerous and deep and can’t be good for the soul and spirit of any community – and it’s working-class society that takes the brunt of this trouble.

I spoke to unionist, nationalist and republican politicians up in Ardoyne and at least there was agreement that this serves nobody’s interests, not these days, apart from the interests of the crazies. Both the Orange Order and nationalist representatives in the coming days will fight for the high ground on this issue: Orangemen saying we marshalled our people well and stuck to the law; nationalists saying why must you march where you are not wanted.

But what good is that if the struggles over parades are prefigured to continue endlessly, and to twist and inflame ordinary people endlessly.

  • fair_deal

    I asked two questions about why the OO marched the same routes before there was a Catholic community or where there isn’t one. I take it from your failure to address these that you have no answer for these. Instead ignoring them and simply resorting to repetition of MOPEry.

    Who was the spokesperson? What media outlet? What was the quote?

    Sectarianism exists in our community, it impacts on all organisations and individuals. I do nor have I ever denied this. I am fully prepared to admit sectraianism exists in the Unionist community and that we need to find ways of addressing it. However, unless the nationalist community admit its problems with sectarianism and address their own sectarian attitudes as well, our society will get nowhere. So far on this thread all I have read from nationalists is continuing denial.

    “To say that people are trying to create conditions where they don’t have to look at protestants is stupid beyond words.”

    No Orange feet? Remember that little slogan. A very exclusionist message directed at who or what? A cultural manifestation of Protestantism.

    Irish musician’s union etc

    I see you have opted for semantics instead of dealing with the actual point. Again no answer? The point was that no community can dictate the cultural practices of another, Unionists tried it and from experience we can say it is unwise.

    I don’t hate catholics. If you can’t understand or accept that then it shows much more about your preconceived notion of me and other Ulster protestants in general.

  • Frank_Black

    Sammo,

    If you actually read the link about the Dromore Street fire you’ll note that it was an illegal Eleventh Night bonfire started in the middle of a built up residential road, right on top of a gas main.

    Aside from the obvious illegality of this blaze it’s destroyed one home and business and, but for the sterling work of the fire service, could have destroyed an entire street.

    As this was no act of vandalism but an expression of Loyalist Celebration all I want to know is how, exactly, do the people responsible for this destruction square this act with their cultural belief that they’re especially Loyal to the British State? Surely if they really cared about the Crown they’d refrain from endangering human life and breaking the law. Right?

    The Dromore Street’s just an example but year after year these so-called Loyalists betray their supposed loyality to Queen and Country by breaking the very laws everyone else in the UK holds dear.

    Now of course when the Fenian rabble riot they do at least have an out clause, what with Republicanism being opposed to the British state.

    Granted both the Catholic rioters in the Ardoyne and the bozos who nearly wiped out Dromore Street are all fuckwits of the lowest order but at least the former’s hate everything British position is kinda consistent.

  • fair_deal

    BP

    Just noticed this point

    “Do you really think it’s just that nationalists have the wrong perception? False consciousness, right?”

    Do I believe all perceptions in the nationalist community of the OO and Unionism to be correct? No I don’t.

    False consciousness? No. This is a completely different notion. The nationalist community believes itself to be Irish. It would be false consciousness if I believed nationalists were really british in identity and had been manipulated by the powerful to embrace a false and manufactured Irish identity. I don’t subscribe to that. They tell me they are Irish Celtic Gaelic and Catholic and I accept that.

  • Belfast

    fair_deal

    “I asked two questions..”

    No to me. Sorry for the confusion I posted between other people posts.

    One point I will make is that everywhere used to be a catholic community and all you protestants are descended from catholics. Catholicism is part of your heritage.

    “I am fully prepared to admit..” Good. But we can all admit that we are bigots. It means nothing unless we do something to change it.

    What to do? Start coming up with answers to that question, pretty soon there is no problem anymore.

    “No Orange feet? Remember that little slogan”

    Orange doesn’t equal protestant.

    “I see you have opted for semantics instead of dealing with the actual point”.

    No way! There is no equivalence between a bunch of 10 year old girls dancing around a stage and thousands of men marching to a field to listen to clerics and politicians condemn Tony Blair and the Pope. Nobody in the world is going to view those activities as in any way similar.

    You are equating them because it’s impossible for you to demonstate that you are tolerant of nationalism. You have no real point to make.

    (The AOH? I’ve lived in NI for most of my life and I’ve never seen or heard them)

    “I don’t hate catholics..”

    Good, but it is the frequently expressed opinion of Orangemen that they don’t hate catholics, they hate catholicism. For the Orangemen hatred is an article of faith.

    “…If you can’t understand or accept that then it shows much more about your preconceived notion of me and other Ulster protestants in general.”

    I don’t have any preconceived idea about you or protestants in general. I grew up in a protestant area. I am very familiar with protestants. In fact I have no doubt that I am a lot more familiar with protestants and what they believe than you are with catholics.

  • Biffo

    I’m losing it tonight, that should have read “Biffo” not “Belfast”

  • toni

    fair deal

    Perhaps Nationalist perceptions are based on the remarks of senior orangemen

    For example senior Orangeman, Deputy Grand Master McMurdie, when interviewed on BBC on Monday 11th regarding links between the Order and the various loyalist paramilitary gangs, said: ‘They are on our side. We might not agree with everything they do but they have been helpful to brethren in north and west Belfast, and continued to defend Orange Order refusal to talk to residents.”

    And who could forget the remarks of senior orangeman, Harold Gracey who refused to condemn the violence surrounding Drumcree and defended the support of loyalist paramilitaries

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/823511.stm

  • Chris berryhill

    As an American with no personal stake in the situation except for my partial Irish bloodline, I am far removed from this all. But Here in America, they wouldnt allow a KKK march through a black neighborhood and they wouldnt allow a bunch of Militant black guys to march through a predominantly white neighborhood. Because there would be a fight every damn time. A peace march is one thing. But what the Orange order does serves no purpose but pride and hate. Silly marches that piss people off for no reason should be ended. Some people enjoy stirring up division. They thrive on “the struggle”. How many more years does Ireland have to suffer at the hands of both sides of these hate mongers? Catholics, Protestants, Pro-English, Anti-English. Yes, the English came and ruined Ireland. Well its been a thousand years, Deal with it. Move on for the betterment of your damn country. America was stolen from its people, the American Indians, by white Christians (of many races and denominations). Now they are stuck with two options, live on a reservation where they were stuck by an unjust and certainly truly UNDEMOCRATIC government, or assimilate and go on. Absorb the fact they were defeated and become part of the way of life that destroyed their way of life. Sucks for them, sucks for the Irish who are stuck in this situation. Got to go forward. Forget the injustices of the past. Move forward within the system. Riots are completely useless in the big scheme of things. Have Blacks got anything from their riots? Have Muslims got anything from their bombs? Not a damn thing- except more and more escalating hate. The only time Blacks got a break was when it was TELEVISED during a PEACEFUL march. When Average decent Americans saw how bad Black people were treated by Southerners. When we had to face our own racism. Gandhi got it, and India got THEIR freedom. Peaceful protest is the ONLY way to go. By releasing your anger and pride and then you can expose the evil acts of those who CANT stop themselves. but these are just the thoughts of one lousy Half-Irish, Half American Indian American. so take from them what you will

  • Chris

    Oh and concerning the comments from Belfast/Biffo about everyone being Catholics, well you all descended from Pagans too, so seeing people fight over Christianity, which descended from Judaism, then was force fed to properly pagan irish is equally ridiculous.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    “Orange doesn’t equal protestant.”

    LMAO. So when I get called an orange bastard in the street its becuase a complete stranger knows I am a member of OO. I don’t think so.

    Your point on the lienage of Catholicism is a remarkable stretch. My own opinion on that aspect of history is pre the reformation there was the Christian church – post reformation there was the Protestant church (in its various forms) and the Roman Catholic church. Its why I have an interest in the likes of Patrick (though the celebrations in Belfast haven’t particulalry attracted me).

    “Dancing v marching”

    1. Cultural expressions does not have to be mirror images but they are still cultural expressions. How about spanish religious festivals? Am I allowed to compare those with orange parades? The Notting Hill carnival began as a celebration by Catholic groups? Is that allowed as a comparison?
    2. I go every year to the Chinese new year celebrations and it bores the arse off me but it is kind of my friends to invite me and nice to see them enjoying themselves. Morris dancing looks completely ridiculous to me. Going to the Henley regatta strikes me as upper class prickery. Its not there for my amusement, enjoyment or preference its their for its participants, if I enjoy it it is a bonus if not so what each to their own.
    3. If you think thousands listen to the speeches in orange fields you are very mistaken.
    4. There were dancers, re-enactments and music on the platform at the Belfast twelfth do we count as culture now?

    The phraseology is adapted from the scriptures i.e loving the sinner and hating the sin.

    Belfast

    Until I moved to Belfast I lived in a mixed community so again your assumption on my knowledge of catholics is flawed. My Catholic friends in Belfast I meet in the city centre but regrettably that is the nature of Belfast. Also one started getting asked questions when I called at their house but of course the queries must have been based on my politics not my religion ;).

    Toni

    The Orange Order has clear rules about how and when people are authorised to make statements on the institutions behalf. As far as I am aware neither had received permission to make a statement therefore they spoke in a individual capacity not on behalf of the organisation.

    As a member of the OO I owe the bond of fraternity to Brother Murdie and my views on his comments will be expressed directly to him the next time I see him.

  • toni

    fair deal

    Do you accept then that Nationalists may form a negative perception of the orange order because senior members make public statements openly supporting loyalist paramilitarism.

    Negative perceptions could also be arrived at when, for example, orangeman and Shankill butcher Eddie McIlwaine carried a bannerette with the picture of uvf leader Brian Robinson during an orange order march on the Springfield Road in 2003.

    McIlwaine (in orange sash) accompanied the Shankill Protestant Boys band and was flanked by men carrying uvf flags.

  • russell

    “As a member of the OO I owe the bond of fraternity to Brother Murdie”

    What ?

  • Biffo

    far_deal

    “LMAO. So when I get called an orange bastard in the street its becuase a complete stranger knows I am a member of OO. I don’t think so.”

    In your case it’s a lucky guess. But what about complete strangers who call me a fenian bastard and I’m not even a member of the Fianna.

    “Your point on the lienage of Catholicism is a remarkable stretch.”

    Hardly, pre-reformation catholics can’t convert to protestantism retrospectively (unless the Pope issues a papal edict, probably).

    Your pre-reformation ancestors belonged to the church of Rome, like everybody else’s in this part of the world.

    “Cultural expressions does not have to be mirror images”.

    But if you wanted to compare them it would at least help if they were slightly along the same lines. Irish dancing isn’t similar to the Orange order.

    “How about spanish religious festivals? Am I allowed to compare those with orange parades?”

    Well, at least you’ve started to use your brain. I don’t know much about Spanish religious festivals but I doubt if they are also displays of nationalism. Orangeism is a mix of religion, politics and British nationalism.

    “I go every year to the Chinese new year celebrations and it bores the arse off me but it is kind of my friends to invite me..”

    Well, at least they aren’t going to tell you that the fact you exist is a sin.

    “If you think thousands listen to the speeches in orange fields you are very mistaken.”

    Of course I wouldn’t have thought so, it’s all been said many times before. But there has to be some point or climax to the ritual.

    “There were dancers, re-enactments and music on the platform at the Belfast twelfth do we count as culture now?”.

    Is it Scottish Gaelic culture? Is it lowland Scots culture? Is it Appalachian culture? Is it what Lord Laird unilateraly decides is your culture. I’d need to witness it before I’d give a definitive opinion (in my capacity as an expert ethnicologist)

    “The phraseology is adapted from the scriptures i.e loving the sinner and hating the sin.”

    See previous Chinese comment.

    “Also one started getting asked questions when I called at their house but of course the queries must have been based on my politics not my religion ;).”

    Can you say what area that was in? I’m not surprised that some people will cause trouble if they know who you were. To me that kind of bigotry is the saddest thing about this place.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    “lucky guess”
    LMAO. Superb rationalisation. However, they are inaccurate in the ‘bastard’.

    The person referring to you as a fenian is using a common used abusive term attached to a person perceived as catholic, nationalist, republican. It is sectarian abuse. Just as orange bastard is and just as No Orange feet has a sectarian message.

    Lord Laird doesn’t decide anything. There was gospel music. Appalachian culture is a development of the culture the migrants from here took with them – many of the tunes have their origins here or in Scotland if you ever get the chance to hear a tune as played in Scotland Ulster and America it is interesting to notice the continuity and change in them. There was country dancing (three generations of my family did that) and of the last six generations of my family four were pipers (did Lord Laird get in a time machine?) but no I was forgetting all this stuff was made up (that reminds me I must go and forge some more James Orr poetry for Lord laird’s next time travel).

    In the dance ensemble there was a bit of Irish dancing thrown in too but of course that lead to an instantaneous riot because the field is filled with bigots.

    Toni

    Can statements be made that contribute to perceptions developing? Yes and its the OO’s responsibility to address that issue.

    If someone has served their prison sentence they have paid their debt to society and should be allowed to re-integrate back into society.

    Russell

    The bond of fraternity means you are expected to take the issue up with them first ie if a fellow member were to do something I consider mistaken, false or downright idiotic I take it up with them directly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Fair Deal / Beach Tree
    Fair enough, I’ll concede the point about procession. (Though I’ll point to the fact provided by Beach Tree that it is not an absolute right.)

    “The OO walked on the garvaghy road before houses were even built…does this not show the motivation isn’t to annoy Catholics its simply what the OO does?”
    These are specific instances and, and insofar as they prove anything their significance is limited. You point to Garvaghy Road. Fair enough, that has only become a nationalist area in the last number of decades. The fact remains that they are now Catholic neighbourhoods. If the OO have been asked by the people who live there not to march past their homes, why would the OO insist that they must?

    “The OO holds parades in Togo, Ghana, Canada, New Zealand, Australia – it is what the OO does. Take the hint from the latin origin of protestant – ‘Protestanti’ – ‘to bear witness’.”
    To be honest I think you’re doing a disservice to the majority of Protestants here who aren’t Orangemen and the 99.99999 per cent of Protestants worldwide who don’t hold marches anywhere, much less in areas where they’ve been asked not to.
    As an Orangeman I assume you are a Bible-believing Christian. I assume you have read Luke 9:51-56?
    “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.”

    “If the Catholic community is intolerant to expressions other than their own then that is a problem in their attitude they must face.”
    Sorry but we’re not talking about simple heterogeneity here. We’re talking about whether Catholics should have to suffer an explicitly anti-“Papist” organisation marching past their house in military formation with banners, drums, flutes, uniforms and flags that, for historical reasons, could only be seen by people who live there as a big “Fuck You Taigs”. You may say they are wrong and intolerant – maybe so, but most outside observers agree. The most common parallel people draw is with the Ku Klux Klan – our American friend Chris Berryhill is only the latest to suggest it. You can dismiss that as the result of Mephistophelian republican propaganda if you wish, but to do so is an act of intellectual dishonesty and cowardice. Hell, an awful lot of NI Protestants have a pretty jaundiced view of the Orange too. Is everyone wrong but the OO?

    “The protestant community isn’t going to go away can the Catholic community not learn to accept this without demanding sectarian cocoons were they will never have to cast eyes on a Protestant?”
    Two more scoops of mendacity then? We’re talking about an Orangeman in full regalia with flag and (God help us) sword. This is nothing to do with social cocoons. It’s about refusing to quietly accept that a ritualised two-finger salute to Catholics is something that must be accepted as “cultural”. White supremacists in the Deep South used to talk about their “way of life”. Their great grandfathers before them described slavery the same way. Protestants in Ireland do not have any natural human right to insult their Catholic neighbours. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the fact remains that the Orange Order is seen by ALL Catholics and most outside observers as a disgraceful anti-Catholic throwback.

    “3. Catholic areas/Protestant areas etc the sectarian divisions in NI, these are abnormal things. Do you want to live in a normal society or not? If yes then we have to start acting like it.”
    And you think that Orange marches in Catholic neighbourhoods would hasten the emergence of a “normal society” here? Let me guess: you think NI was a “normal society” before 1969, don’t you?
    Maybe you should consider this: the OO is the most egregious example there is in Northern Ireland of social abnormality.

    “I don’t tell the GAA how to play hurley. I don’t tell Conradh na Gaelige how to teach Gaelic. I don’t tell the AOH were to parade. I don’t tell Irish dancers how they should do it. I don’t tell people how to organise a Fheis. I don’t tell Irish Musician’s Union how and where to play its music.”
    The day and hour the GAA announces the Ulster Final is to be played at Windsor Park, you’ll have a point. When there’s a Gaeltacht college opened up on the Shankill or a fleadh in Ballybeen AGAINST THE WISHES OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE, you’ll have a point. Til then though, we see the essential mismatch in your analogy. Gaelic games, Irish trad music, the Irish language, Irish dancing and literature and so on: these are examples of people doing their thing in places where it is actually wanted. Nothing is forced on an unwilling audience. You see what I’m saying?

  • fair_deal

    BP

    There is only one absolute right – right not to be subjected to torture or inhumane treatmet (however the defintion of inhumane treatment acts as a get out clause even in this one)

    You haven’t really addressed the point that this is simply what the OO does and it is not a fascination with Catholic areas but I’ll take your concession of “limited value” as the most I’m going to get.

    The Catholic areas are not the ‘destination’ they need access around or through them.

    “We’re talking about an Orangeman in full regalia with flag and (God help us) sword”

    The regalia involves orange and purple material (usually) collarette with a lodge number on it. Some are decorated with symbols from the Arch purple degree. Usually a suit, occassionally a bowler and white gloves. What is so terrifying? Do you think I go under some sort of Superman transformation when I put my collarette on to become Superbigot?

    Also please do not exaggerate, not every Ornageman carries a flag.

    I have my national identity you have yours. Why can I not display my national flag?

    “you think NI was a “normal society” before 1969, don’t you”

    No I don’t.

    The bible quotation

    I don’t want to destroy people either.

    “AGAINST THE WISHES OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE”

    1. NI has two main communities who at time do not display tolerance or particualrly liking one another. Their wishes can be motivated by SECTARIANISM. These are a sectarian wishes – Ha Ha we stopped a parade of huns, up there’s. On a tour of Carrick Hill recently a nationalist community worker’s comment was “We want to get houses built here then that will be another parade stopped”.
    2. It’s my city too. Am I not allowed access to the city centre. If I use a road regularly why can i not use it when i wear a collarette?

    The KKK analogy is balls quite frankly and an insult to its victims. It simply is used as a means of demonisation. When I walk down a street I do not put a mask on my face. I do not go around on horseback murdering people. The KKK enforced segregation – different areas for different groups – this is what the resident hate groups want not me.

    “ALL Catholics”

    I must inform my Catholic friends they aren’t catholics as they don’t share your views.

    “social abnormality”

    Why is a community expressing itself an abnormality? Every community does it.

    “a ritualised two-finger salute”

    If me being me is to be viewed as an insult then what can I do, it’s the other person’s problem.

    “the essential mismatch in your analogy”

    My analogy is NOT about place. It is about one community thinking it can tell another how it can express itself.

  • fair_deal

    BP

    From utv website

    “Northern Ireland public transport company Translink confirmed that windows were smashed on two buses carrying fans from the Belfast club Glentoran in the border town of Dundalk.”

    “Glentoran`s fans, some of whom were showered with glass, were returning from the Champions League clash in Dublin`s Tolka Park with Irish champions Shelbourne.”

    It’s there own fault, after all, they hadn’t got permission from the homes they passed in Dundalk.

  • Biffo

    fair_deal

    “Appalachian culture..”

    The concepts you are applying here to “your culture” are extrememly flawed. There is a hell of a lot more of your traditional “Ulster Scots” music reposited in County Clare than there is in Appalachia.

    But I note you choose to see it as something foreign.

    Earlier you said “I don’t tell Irish Musician’s Union (sorry can’t remember its Gaelic name) how and where to play its music”

    It’s not “it’s” music, it’s anybody’s music.

    As an illustration I’ll mention the passing earlier this year of the finest traditional fiddler Ulster ever produced – Seán McGuire. His heyday was from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. He was extremely influential in the world of traditional fiddling in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA.

    He passed away unmourned by the likes of Laird, the Ulster Scots Agency or the Belfast Telegraph.

    He was an Irish nationalist (and probably a republican, Gerry Adams was at the funeral).

    But you’ll be unlikely ever to hear any other fiddler with a finer reportoire of traditional Ulster, traditional Scottish and traditional English fiddle tunes than that particular man. The fact that, politically, he was a nationalist is irrelevant.

    What I’m saying is that people like Laird are trying to Ghettoise culture into “ours” and “theirs” without actually knowing much about the culture.

    You seem to be buying it.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    Ulster-scots is a ghetto if it says it has things of distinction from other cultures but Irish isn’t a ghetto when it says it is different from other cultures. Sorry don’t buy it.

    I used to attend lots of cultural debates and the shift from Irish musicians was interesting. They used to talk of the distinctiveness of the Irish music. They used Irish as a cultural term. Ulster-scots begins to revive and they backtracked Irish was simply a geographical term.

    The fiddling tradition in the British Isles is a continuum but a series of distinct styles can be identified. I like the connections. I like the the distinctions. Both are equally valuable.

    I have said it before on here and I will say it again. Lord Laird represents himself not the Ulster-Scots cultural revival.

  • Biffo

    f_d

    1.Your right right not to buy it – it wasn’t a point I was making.

    2. Fair enough, but you’d probably need to speak to other traditional Irish musicians, someone like Gary Hastings, a fine flute player from the Shankill.

    3.Absolutely.

    4. Very true, but the problem is a lot of people want to believe his kind of bullshit, as I’ve noticed on slugger – some people even believe “Ullans” is a real word.

  • toni

    “If someone has served their prison sentence they have paid their debt to society and should be allowed to re-integrate back into society.”

    fair deal

    Shankill butcher Eddie McIlwaine may have served his time for the atrocities carried out by his uvf knife gang during the seventies

    Do you find it acceptable for Mr McIlwaine, as an orangeman, to carry a bannerette in memory of uvf leader, Brian Robinson during an orange order parade.He marched with a paramilitary band carrying uvf flags.

    Is this acceptable within orange order parades ?

    Brian Robinson was shot dead by undercover soldiers after pumping eleven bullets into the body of a Catholic man walking along the Crumlin road.

    At his funeral the coffin was flanked by 8 collarette-wearing members of the orange order lodge, The Old Boyne Island Heroes.

    He is commemorated on a large uvf mural in the Woodvale district.

    fair deal

    As a member of the orange order do you owe the bond of fraternity to Eddie McIlwaine ?

    Would you have been happy to have been accociated with a fellow orangeman,like Brian Robinson ?

  • gerry

    Do the orange order have any rules on loyalist paramilities being members of the organisation.

  • fair_deal

    Toni

    I owe an bond of fraternity to every other member of the OO across the world whether they are ex-prisoners or not.

    Brian Robinson is dead.

    In the late 1980’s the OO introduced band contracts which included a rule against paramilitary flags and a band committee to enforce it (in the face of strong opposition from the bands). This helped remove UDA, UFF and RHC flags that bands had started to carry on OO parades.

    On the question of the flags carried by the SPB, they are designed in the form of battle honours and make clear and specific reference to the original UVF and 36th Ulster Division. The police cited these flags on a number of occasions to the DPP but the DPP did not take a case as they believed they had little hope of success – they did not believe it would succeed in defined the flags as paramilitary. My great great grandfather and great grandfather both served in the 36th Ulster Division and fought at many of the battles listed (only my great grandfather was a member of the original UVF) so I can identify with them on a personal level.

    That said I can understand why the reference to the Ulster Volunteer Force would cause concern and problems.

    Gerry

    Under the rules and ordinances of the OO, anyone convicted of a criminal offence is automatically expelled from the OO.

    For any other breaches of the rules there is a disciplinary procedure (a rather cumbersome one) and evidence must be presented.

  • toni

    “I owe an bond of fraternity to every other member of the OO across the world whether they are ex-prisoners or not.”

    So you would be happy to associate with a member of the Shankill butcher gang who is an orangeman and who is obviously proud to carry a bannerette with with the face of a sectarian murderer on it.

    Do you think it was wrong for orangemen to provide a guard of honour for Brian Robinson(who was an orange order member).

    This man was part of an organisation who killed innocent people and was killed himself on the return journey from killing an innocent civilian.

    “In the late 1980’s the OO introduced band contracts which included a rule against paramilitary flags and a band committee to enforce it (in the face of strong opposition from the bands). This helped remove UDA, UFF and RHC flags that bands had started to carry on OO parades.”

    Does this contract not include carrying bannerettes with terrorists pictured on it or are the order happy to be associated with this uvf killer.

    Eddie McIlwaine carried the uvf man’s bannerette during a parade in 2003.

  • fair_deal

    Toni

    Memorial banners of lodge members are common. The decision on bannerettes and funerals is a power of each individual lodge. I am not a member of that lodge nor was I a member of the OO at the time. I do not know why they took those decisions.

    I have not seen the bannerette. Does it make a reference to a paramilitary group?

    The OO is a mass membership organisation Individual members may do things I disagree with. Individuals may do things the OO disagrees with. The OO makes clear the behaviour it expects of its members.

  • toni

    “I have not seen the bannerette. Does it make a reference to a paramilitary group?”

    The bannerette was carried by Eddie McIlwaine during an orange order parade on the Springfield road on the 28th June 2003.

    Is it acceptable for the orange order to commemerate sectarian murderers from the late 1980’s.

    Are you happy that a bannerette carried by a convicted member of the uvf Shankill butcher gang which commemorates a uvf paramilitary murderer is ok as long as the words uvf are not on the banner in question.

    Does it matter. ?

    Is a terrorist not a terrorist.?

  • fair_deal

    Toni

    If it had a reference to a paramilitary body then it would be illegal and the police could act on it. That is why I asked.

    I do not support sectarian murders. If anyone I ever met advocated them I would try to convince they were wrong. If this person was an Orangeman I would remind him of the qualifications of membership which stresses positive behaviour towards Catholics.

    If Brian Robinson had been convicted of a terrorist offence he would have been automatically expelled from the OO. The OO cannot expel a member after they are dead.

    I checked on this, this morning. This was the Springfield Road parade in 2003. The Springfield residents raised this as a concern. In 2004, it was not carried.

    There is a fundamental broader issue and that is paramilitarism both in general and in particular the Unionist community. Loyalist paramilitarism has been growing since the mid-1980’s and especially after the ceasefires. The power and influence of loyalist paramilitaries has grown significantly. I personally believe this is a bigger strategic issue for Unionism than achieving the deal with nationalism and involves all sections of the Unionist community sitting down to work out how we combat and hopefully eradicate it.

  • Biffo

    f_d

    “I personally believe this is a bigger strategic issue for Unionism than achieving the deal with nationalism and involves all sections of the Unionist community sitting down to work out how we combat and hopefully eradicate it.”

    What about the OO could making a start by ejecting all paramiliatary members whether convicted of a crime or not?

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    The disciplinary system of the OO is no different from anyone else, it needs proof. For example, Sinn Fein did not suspend members over McCartney until they were presented with evidence.

    In the 1990’s a OO member disciplined under another issue successfully challenged his disciplining in Court including lack of evidence.

  • toni

    “If Brian Robinson had been convicted of a terrorist offence he would have been automatically expelled from the OO. The OO cannot expel a member after they are dead.”

    fair deal

    Why do the orange order commemorate a sectarian murderer.

    Is it the fact that because Brian Robinson was a member of the orange order he is regarded as less of a sectarian murderer than all the others.

    Surely if you believe what your organisation stands for, you and your colleagues would distant themselves from the Old Boyne Island Heroes who are happy to have a sectarian murderer as a figure head for their lodge.

    To be honest with you, it stinks of hypocracy.

    Was Eddie McIlwaine a member of the orange order prior to spending his time cutting the throats of young Catholic men who were picked up from the streets and tortured.?

    If he was not, the orange order are obviously happy to take into its ranks a man who was guilty of some of the most horrific and psychotic actions during the troubles.

  • bill

    Why do the Orange Order allow convicted murderers to be part of their organisation

  • fair_deal

    The OO doesn’t commemorate Brian Robinson. The Lodge he was a member of has a commemorative bannerette. I have provided an example of how the OO acted on the bannerette and distanced itself.

    I do not know if he was a member of the OO three decades ago. Mr McIlwaine was tried convicted and served his full sentence. His time in jail should have given him time to reflect on his heinous crimes and rehabilitate himself. All ex-prisoners should be allowed to re-integrate into society.

    Bill

    All ex-prisoners should be allowed to re-integrate into society.

  • barnshee

    .” If the Catholic community is intolerant to expressions other than their own then that is a problem in their attitude they must face. The protestant community isn’t going to go away can the Catholic community not learn to accept this without demanding sectarian cocoons were they will never have to cast eyes on a Protestant”

    The never “casting of eyes” as you so elegantly put it applies both ways -there are many who would support “sectarian cocoons” on the prod side.

  • Millie

    It’s not the act of marching that catholics object to, after all marching is a tradition in the rest of the UK and all over the world. It’s what OO marches signify that causes the problems here. The OO is not so much a pro-Protestant organisation but more rather an anti-catholic one. Unionists complain that it’s simply a display of culture and religion, but it’s more than that, it’s the inability to separate POLITICS from these so-called ‘cultural and religious’ expressions.

    If you’re a youngster attending bonfires year in and year out you’ll grow up thinking it’s a perfectly normal thing to burn Irish tricolours and other ‘catholc’ memorabilia. I even saw an orange banner dedicated to the B Specials just the other day. The B Specials?? They were such a discredited and sectarian force that their disbandment was even one of moderate NICRA’s demands.

    The matches may be colourful displays of music and pageantry but the underlying message behind them is a political one, namely that British Protestantism is superior to Irish Catholicism – even a 12 yr old rioter from Ardoyne could tell you that. If orange marches are to be given any respect then they need to be repackaged and their political content jettisoned.

  • toni

    fair deal

    The Old Boyne Island heroes lodge seem to have a strong connection with the uvf.

    They have also commemorated another of the Shankill butcher gang, Bobby ‘Basher’ Bates as well as uvf commander John Bingham.

    “The family of Con Neeson, murdered at the hands of the Shankill Butchers has reacted angrily to the news that a Shankill Road Orange Lodge has honoured one of the gang Bobby `Basher’ Bates.

    The Old Boyne Island Heroes have commemorated the killer on a bannerette with the words `In fond memory of our fallen brethren’.

    Bates, a former lodge member was killed in June 1997 in an apparent loyalist revenge attack on the Upper Woodvale Road. He was a ringleader of the Shankill Butchers who used knives and meat cleavers to murder 19 Catholics in the mid 70’s.

    Charlie Neeson, whose brother Con was murdered at the hands of the `Butchers’ said he was disgusted that the Lodge could carry the banner during marches. He said, “I can’t understand their logic and their talk about Christianity. I would like someone to give me an explanation about this.

    “They are really insulting. They are really provocative. It hurts the memory of those that the Butchers’ killed.Something should be done about this. The `Butchers’ killed innocent people in a way animals wouldn’t even be treated.”

    The Shankill Road lodge has named four other dead UVF men on the banner who were also members of the Orange Lodge. They include a UVF man blown up by his own bomb, and murdered UVF commander John Bingham.”

    uvf/orange order – its hard to tell the difference.

  • fair_deal

    barnshee

    “there are many who would support “sectarian cocoons” on the prod side”

    I agree there are many and they are wrong too.

    Toni

    Old Boyne Island Heroes is not the OO. It is one lodge.

  • Biffo

    f_d

    The OO is the sum of it’s parts.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    One lodge among the hundreds that exist in Ulster and Ireland and the thousands across the world, a remarkably small part.

    Toni

    Here is another example of OO action on paramilitarism. In Scotland, a number of lodges were found to be raising money for loyalist prisoners, the lodges were expelled.

    The OO also could not recommend the Belfast Agreement to its members for among other things prisoner releases. The OO wanted all paramilitary prisoners to serve their full sentence.

  • terry

    FD

    Should lodges with paramilitary connections not be thrown out of the orange order if they are trully against terrorism

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Fair Deal

    “Do you think I go under some sort of Superman transformation when I put my collarette on to become Superbigot?”

    I don’t know. It’s not really a question for me to answer – it’s really a question that only you can answer. All I would say is that, whatever it does to you, can you not just leave me in peace?

    “I have my national identity you have yours. Why can I not display my national flag?”

    You can. Your right to “fly the flag” as it were is not in question. The only question here is: why do you consider it essential that I have to watch?

    “The bible quotation – I don’t want to destroy people either.”

    Agh, you’re a chicken. “And they went to another village.”

    “The KKK analogy is balls quite frankly…”

    It’s a parallel that is drawn awfully frequently by an awful lot of international observers looking in – people with no ostensible axe to grind on matters NI. I also pointed out that an awful lot of Protestants here have a very jaundiced view of the Orange Order. So my question remains: is everyone wrong but the Orange?

    “I must inform my Catholic friends they aren’t catholics as they don’t share your views.”

    I don’t know you from Adam and I have no way of knowing any of the details of your private life. Only you can know if I’m right or wrong, but I’m bound to say that I frankly don’t believe that there are any Catholics in your life that you care about or have a serious friendship with.

    “Why is a community expressing itself an abnormality? Every community does it.”

    Again I return to the question: why must that display be enacted before an unwilling audience?

    “If me being me is to be viewed as an insult then what can I do, it’s the other person’s problem.”

    Why do you have to “be you” in somebody else’s face?

    “My analogy is NOT about place. It is about one community thinking it can tell another how it can express itself.”

    Jesus Christ, I would have thought that if the marching issue was about anything, it was about place. The OO can express themselves til doomsday for all anyone in the nationalist community cares – we just want to get on with our lives. If Orangemen want to disgrace themselves by getting dressed up and giving each other preposterous titles and marching like so many Don Quixotes to a field where they can dose up on sectarian amphetamines handed out from the stage – well, it’s a shame but if that’s what you want… But if you then want to come and urinate over my front door on the way home, then it becomes my business.

    “It’s there own fault, after all, they hadn’t got permission from the homes they passed in Dundalk.”

    That should be spelt “their”.

    On the contrary I have earlier argued that Orangemen should get on buses.

  • fair_deal

    BP

    “Villages”

    A understanding of God comes from a systematic analysis of the Scriptures not a single verse. Jesus did not ask the moneychangers to leave the temple nicely.

    “we just want to get on with our lives.”

    Then get on with it. A parade takes five minutes more or less to get up the Crumlin Road from Twaddell Avenue to Hesketh Road. The longest parade is approximately 100-150 yards (the ABOD and Black parades are less than 50 yards) in length meaning that at no stage is the entire length from Twaddell to Hesketh blocked by the parade allowing free access across from Mountainview and Ardoyne in front and behind the parade. Morning parades are before most of the shops at Ardoyne open and evening parades after a number have closed. No music is played on this section of the route. If there was no threat of attack no need for a police presence of the scale we have seen. It is perfectly possible for you to get on with your life and me to get on with mine.

    Geogrpahically reality means some routes will go past, through or near Catholic or nationalist areas.

    Anyone urinating on a doorstep should be arrested.

    “Orangemen should get on buses”

    A solution muted to sectarian protests in Glenbryn was for the Holy Cross parents to use a bus. Gerry Kelly said getting on a bus would make them second class citizens. Why should I be treated as a second class citizen?

    Also this option is no guarantee of safety from the sectarianism in Ardoyne. School buses carrying Protestant children have been repeatedly stoned passing through Ardoyne. The bands got on buses last year and they were attacked.

    A similar security operation to get buses up and down safely would have to be mounted as for the parades.