"aggressive and arrogant"

That’s the Grand Master of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters verdict on the three nights of violence. Good to see a recognition of the problem from that source.. Eh? He wasn’t referring to the rioters?.. he was referring to the police?!? *sheesh* and he thinks the Order are blameless?!? *sheesh* [again] Oh, and I’ll just draw your attention to this snippet at the end of the BBC report –

The North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum, a loyalist umbrella group, blamed the trouble on the government and the Parades Commission and said further actions “are being planned by our community”.

Sorry. No time for dessert, Mr Hain..

152 thoughts on “"aggressive and arrogant"”

  1. John East Belfast,
    you can’t compare the GAA and the Orange Order as they have completely different goals and histories.

    But I would like to clear up a few things you brought up.

    The GAA is there to promote Gaelic Games and the Irish language but it doesn’t have restrictions on who can play or join as you imply.

    In contrast, the Church of Ireland calls the Orange Order “Anti-Roman Catholic”. I admit the GAA in its statutes and symbolism is “anti-union” but I would prefer to think of it as “pro-Irish culture and pro the Irish Republic” as evidenced by how it works and how successful it is.

    I would not call the GAA anti-Protestant or anti-British. There may be anti-British, anti-Protestant people in it but it, as an organisation, is a positive force for the Irish people as a whole, Catholic, Protestant and dissenter. This is important.

    Also, the GAA isn’t the political animal the OO is, it was never affiliated to the ruling political party as the Orange Order was, for example.

    The overwhelming majority of GAA people aren’t from Northern Ireland and aren’t afraid of being swamped by anything, except maybe good-looking Poles and Lithuanians.

    There isn’t the same siege mentality here that there is over the border.

    I accept there may be that siege mentality in much of the northern GAA as evidenced by their attitude to foreign games at Croke Park, the lifting of the ban on British soldiers playing etc.

    However, they went along with the views of the majority, living in the peaceful Irish hinterland.

    As Britain is now also the enemy, there is no quiet, peaceful unionist hinterland to “soothe” and “talk sense” to the Orange Order so the siege mentality people are in control.

    The reason there is nothing contentious about what the GAA does is because it is confident in itself and not trying to impose its will on another community and only sets up clubs and plays matches where there is support.

    What I was comparing was what the 2 organisations were doing for their communities last weekend as they are seen as being the “cultural” (give me some leeway on cultural there) vanguards of their respective communities -British and Irish.

    While the GAA was charging the hearts of the Irish people last weekend, the Orange Order was pushing the poor Protestant people of Whiterock further into the mire.

    I really do believe the Orange Order could be a force for good on this island if it followed the path the Church of Ireland has taken over the past few decades in its attitudes towards Catholics but as it is now, it is a timebomb waiting to explode.

    It will be the poorest who suffer most as they are the ones who have bought in most to this siege mentality.

  2. AS,

    I get it!…can you not see that I also justified in my last post where the initial confusion came from? Can’t believe we’re wasting time on this…!

    Victor,
    More importantly, would you please clarify your position to AS? – he’s back to twist an earlier post of yours again!

  3. We are hardly going to have a ‘Mad dog’ character as a CC worker are we???

    I think you’ll find we already did!!short memory there AS ooops
    The Guardian and the BBC highly respected news sources they are..eh? I also believe the same media sources claimed a certain King Rat as a born again christian!!! And here we go again,putting words and meanings in where they don’t exist….dear oh dear…Dawson Baillie springs to mind.
    Libelious…..WHERE?
    Evocotive…..WHERE?

  4. It will be the poorest who suffer most as they are the ones who have bought in most to this siege mentality.

    Exactly, when I listen to the spectrum of unionism, as an outsider, I am more and more of the impression that it is a power-struggle of those on top keeping their foot down hard on the unionist/loyalist working classes and duping them into doing their bidding and dirty work.

  5. So the BBC are also loyalist Sympathisers??? Now you are just going into the sublime Vic.

    Calling a respected cross community leader a ‘leading east belfast loyalist terrorist’ is libelious in anyone’s books.
    Careless talk costs lives.

    Then saying he deserved to be shot along with teenage boys – well that is just simple lunacy.

    Jonny Adair was a cross community worker??? huh?

    There is no twisting Grimesy. Please Vic clarify yourself.

  6. “I’d like to ask a simple question in relation to OO parades,, why must they march through catholic areas to their buses to board on route to a parade elsewhere?
    The OO gather at the bottom of the Newtownards rd, form ranks and march past St Mathews chapel, once they get past the Strand, they fall out board buses and head off to their parade, be it in Derry or beyond, what is that about?”

    No one seemed to want to answer your simple question, Victor, so here goes.

    It’s about provocation. This is the entire raison d’être of the Orange Order. I thought everybody knew that.

  7. Very good point looking in, wasn’t it Hugh McClean a convicted UVF murderer who claimed way back in 1966

    I am terribly sorry I ever heard tell of that man Paisley or decided to follow him

    Seems nothing has changed within Unionism in all these years! Pity really.

  8. In relation to the points raised by looking in and VICTOR1,

    Wasn’t the whole story of Unionism in the late 19th century based on the fact that the industrial and professional middle classes and the aristocracy, to secure their positions, stirred up sectarian resentment among the working class protestants – the whole “Home Rule is Rome Rule” ?

  9. This thread seems to have gone a bit skeewiff.

    The usual number of OO apologists are conspicuous by their silence.
    After watching the UTV news tonight I had to then watch on BBC because I really needed a double take. If it wasn’t related to such serious events Im sure it would be catalogued in many of those ‘blooper’ programmes we now see.
    Some of the posts here defending the indefnsible have just had me sitting shaking my head in disbelief.
    I know what I saw on TV preceeding the weekends events and no amount of spin would convince me or any right thinking, objective individual that the OO were not in some way responsible for initiating and fuelling the mayhem that followed.
    I hope this event becomes one of the last nails in a coffin for such an outdated, bigotted,sectarian club of halfwits.

    Antrim Springfarm is it not past your bed time?

    iluvni,
    I was also at Windsor park the day the grenades were thrown and I can assure you I wasn’t feckin’ cheering and neither were my mates.

  10. Headmelter, the loyalists are just reading the Republican’s manual entitled “How to get ahead in Northern Ireland”.

    Only problem is they are reading Vol 1 and are trying the violent tactics previously employed by SF/IRA.

  11. Springfarm:

    Dear oh dear, but the constant use of caps to ram the point home, not to mention the pig-ignorance your displaying towards civilised debate, is giving me a sore head in an otherwise informative thread.

    You do nothing for the Unionist cause with this approach, which begs the question: would you be Big Ian by any chance?

  12. AS,

    You actually responded to my question – I only asked one – on a different blog…leaving that aside, please also note the correct spelling of my user-name.

    I’ve also had a brief look at VICTOR1’s previous comments – please expand on your assertion that “he/she supports the shooting of Protestants?”…which comment of his are you referring to? (granted, I may have missed the actual comment he/she posted)

  13. Who did the cheering then, Headmelter?…hardly Linfield fans when we all thought it was the Provos attacking us.

  14. Grimesy,
    I will let Victor elaborate on his/her post.

    Foggy are you going to join the list of name-callers? you are staring a trend here. Please tell me how I am ‘pig-ignorant’?

    You really are not doing much for your cause with ALL THE CHILDISH NAME CALLING.

  15. Springfarm,
    I can’t remember reading that manual myself nor may many other republicans, and judging by tonights OO ‘press conference’ it would appear to me that the OO leaders may have difficulty reading anything more advanced than ‘Dick and Jane’ or ‘Spot The Dog’.

  16. iluvni,

    Our memories of that day seem to be somewhat different.
    It appeared to me that there were indeed some cheers but these seemed to eminate from both sets of supporters. The Reds fans at the far end of the Kop and the Blues fans in the corner of the ‘new’ stand beside where the grenades came over the wall. For info I was in the KOP just up from the turnstiles, not far from the explosions.

    It’s enough to say it was the last time I was at Windsor Pk, and would make me very hesitant about ever returning.

  17. Having been sat in the stand the night the blast bombs were thrown over the wall at Windsor near the Cliftonville fans, my abiding memory was the massive cheer that went up from those very same fans because they were under the impression it was the IRA attacking Linfield fans!!

  18. I have to say that I wish I’d never found the sluggerotoole website. I find most of the opinions expressed here fundamentally depressing; nevertheless it makes for addictive reading! I rarely comment but thought I’d throw my tuppence worth in, although I’m sure the more erudite and politically aware among you will find what I have to say rather dull.

    Firstly, as regards the weekend: an absolute disgrace. I was 14/15 when the ceasefires were first called so I fortunately haven’t had to live through what many of the older commentators had. Notwithstanding this I am aware of the past through various media. The events of the last number of days were something I thought I would never again witness post Drumcree. I don’t care what the IRA did or didn’t do in the past – that is no justification for what has happened. The excuse being peddled by Paisley and his motley crew, by Empey, by the Orange Order, that this is some sort of response to the government’s “appeasement” of the IRA is nothing short of outrageous! There are no concessions – full stop! What is happening is that the threat to the British government in the form of the IRA is being gradually removed and a normalisation of life is occurring in Northern Ireland. These people were called out into the street in an attempt to force the parade down the Springfield Road. In my opinion, the residents should have let them pass and stood at the kerb side and clapped and cheered and sang the Sash as the marchers paraded past. Nothing would have disconcerted them more. These people live in a very deprived area where educational attainment is low, unemployment is high and criminality thriving. What the events of the last weekend have done is to ensure that there will be no investment in these areas: who would want to invest there when the likelihood is that when the Orange Order can’t get its own way on a future parade their investment will be razed to the ground? Nothing short of a tremendous own goal. There should be a file prepared for the PPS with a view to prosecuting unionist leaders for incitement to public disorder (as a minimum).

    Secondly, I should like to challenge Antrim Springfarm’s assertion that Catholics are “ethnically cleansing” Protestants from areas. I come from west Belfast. I’m a young professional who wants to get onto the property ladder. (Un)fortunately I can’t afford the price of properties in the west and so am looking to North where the property is more affordable. If I move into an area where Protestants live am I ethnically cleansing the protestant population by buying a house there? Let’s use the example of the Ballynafeigh area. Once a staunch bastion of protestantism and now a mixed area verging on being a middle class Catholic area. The cost of houses there is beyond the reach of the people who inhabit there and so more and more young professional catholics are taking up residence when the houses go on sale. Is that ethnic cleansing? No, it’s nothing more than economics – supply and demand. You might be happy living in a “protestant area” – I’m not happy living in an area where that is solely catholic. Some of us, the future of the province, want to get along and live side by side with each other. You, on the other hand, need to get a life!

  19. AS: you can refer to him in any which way you wish, I shall for the sake of continuity continue with the truth, Leading Loyalist Paramilitary in East Belfast.

  20. Grimesy, you obviously didn’t get this but I’ll explain it to you.

    The quote “A community under siege does not shoot 5 innocent Protestants” was NOT FROM VICTOR1. He was quoting it in his response. It was my quote!

    WHERE DID I SAY THAT SHOOTING INNOCENT PROTESTANT TEENAGERS WAS OK?!?

    I wasn’t saying you did say that. I was saying that to VICTOR who OK’ed the gun attack.

    But I am glad you cleared up the confusion and you do not agree with Victor1.

  21. ILUVNI, I wouldn’t worry about Victor’s analysis of the events at the chickenville match as he can’t even remember making a post today about the justification of shooting Protestant teanagers and a youth worker.

  22. In relation to the points raised by looking in and VICTOR1,

    Wasn’t the whole story of Unionism in the late 19th century based on the fact that the industrial and professional middle classes and the aristocracy, to secure their positions, stirred up sectarian resentment among the working class protestants – the whole “Home Rule is Rome Rule” ?

  23. George
    If the loyalists and/or Orangemen refuse to change their attitudes, would you still welcome them into a United Ireland?

  24. Moderate Unionist: If there was a United Ireland, Loyalist/Unionist wouldn’t have the attitudes they currently have, their attitudes at the moment come from fear and are fed by lack of political leadership, in a new Ireland and with a little vision, they would prosper along with the rest of us on the Island of Ireland!

  25. George
    If the loyalists and/or Orangemen refuse to change their attitudes, would you still welcome them into a United Ireland?

  26. George
    ‘What I was comparing was what the 2 organisations were doing for their communities last weekend as they are seen as being the “cultural” (give me some leeway on cultural there) vanguards of their respective communities -British and Irish.’

    As a Brit – albeit from the larger island across the water, I find it quite laughable that the OO is described as the ‘cultural vanguard’ of britishness in NI. The people of the rest of the UK have little or nothing in common with these people, and abhor the scenes we have seen the last few nights.
    Generally the rest of the UK has a lot of sympathy with unionist people, due to IRA campaigns on the mainland, but this will very quickly be lost if events carry on in this fashion. The UK is becoming more secular and just can not understand why Loyalists continue to riot, kill and involve them selves with organised crime.
    As far as we are aware the principle of consent has been enshrined in the GFA, the Irish Constitution has been changed, and a border poll will not change the status for Donkeys years. Therefore the Union has never been constitutionally stronger. The only people who can throw this away are those ‘most loyal’ to the union, because at the moment we over this side of the sea have bugger all in common with you and are rapidly getting arsed off with your immature behaviour, blatent bigotry and attacks against the old bill.
    Get on with making Northern Ireland an inclusive and viable part of the UK!

    Oh, and get a better PR machine, because the one you have at the moment is awefull.

  27. Moderate Unionist

    There are marches by the orange order in the south. And they are seen as a peaceful family occasion for all.
    some of these OO men are local and a lot travel from the North. There is no violence.

    It’s the atittude that’s not welcome, not the people.

  28. “Generally the rest of the UK has a lot of sympathy with unionist people”. I disagree with this Nick, because of the poll in 2001 in The Guardian showing only 25% wantes NI to stay in the UK, with 41% supporting a United Ireland. However I agree with you about British people abhoring the disgraceful behaviour and ethos of the OO.

  29. Antrim Springfarm:”I think you will find that many Unionists have condemned the violence. The fact of the matter is the Gov got it wrong – they banned the parade because they thought they would get more trouble out the Republicans. But as per usual they have ignored the feeling of Prods for years and have now seen the fruits of this explode in their face.”

    The biggest problems is the unionists are turning into Palestinians – they never miss an opportunity to miss an oppotunity. SF would have taken the amended route and complained to high heaven as they marched through the wasteland, a couple cute poppets in tow, of the blatant discrimination of the committee. Instead, the Unionists go for the last (and first) refuge of the incompetant — near-mindless violence, perpetrated by men in what has to be the silliest costumes this side of the Gay Pride parade in Greenwich Village, NY.

    “PS the guy waving the sword should be banned.”

    Why, thankee, Anrtim, for your small mercies…

  30. Moderate unionist,
    “If the loyalists and/or Orangemen refuse to change their attitudes, would you still welcome them into a United Ireland?”

    A united Ireland can only come about if a majority in NI vote for it so isn’t likely anytime soon. But let’s say a majority decide on unification.

    I don’t care what their attitude is and welcome them with open arms as long as they don’t indulge in wholesale bombing, shooting, rioting, murder etc. and respect the democratic wishes of the people of this island and work within the parameters of, and with respect for, the state.

    In other words, I would welcome British people, Protestant people, dissenters etc. but not unionist terrorists on a mission to kill.

    If they take the terrorist path and declare war on the rest of us on this island in the hope of usurping the democratic wishes of the people through terror and slaughter, then I assume the new unified Irish state will have no choice to engage them in battle, with every citizen working to the best of their ability to defeat this threat by any means necessary.

    Or do you believe we should succumb to the terror and ignore the democratic mandate for unity?

    What do you think the “new majority population” in Northern Ireland should do in this scenario? Silently accept this?

    Say “better not leave the union because the loyalists will start indiscriminately murdering us all if we do”?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if “no surrender” became the catchphrase against such unionist insurgents.

  31. Headmelter,
    We’ll agree to differ then but ffs, don’t give me the oul keek about how that would put you off ever returning to Windsor Park.
    You sure you weren’t there for the cup final a couple of days after the Reds won the League?

  32. “Darthrumsfeld, by IRA figures do you mean Provisional IRA”
    -Kevin Lynch’s GAA club, Dungiven,named after 1981 PIRA hunger striker.

    Darth
    “Flying a republican flag and playing a republican anthem over loudspeakers before a match is just as unpleasant for a Unionist to endure as a loyalist band belting out “The Sash” outside a chapel. “

    Laughable. You’ll need to better than that I’m afraid.”

    Yaeh- you tell me what I should find offensive. Why should I have the temerity to hold opinions different from yours?

    And then along came George…

    “Over 80,000 at a state-of-art stadium to watch the all-Ireland hurling final. Millions of euros made for the city of Dublin with no rooms to be had for love or money.”-Yup, with millions of taxpayers Euros I bet the Orange Order could have a state of the art field in every town on the Twelfth too. Funny how the poor sods who live beside Croker don’t seem too keen on this wonderful influx though. And your point seems to be that a big cultural event is ipso facto a good one. So the biggest cultural event in NI is…..(hint: it happens on the day after the eleventh of July-ooops)and the amount of money it puts into our economy by way of travel, catering, and yes alcohol sales is significant…except to begrudgers like you of course

    As for GAA mobs attacking Protestant homes probably no club as such organises a petrol bombing daytrip-just as no Orange lodge sets out to attack the police, but there are countless examples of general yobbishness by suppporters against people of all and no politics- like the damage to houses in Ballygawley last September,or the publicans from Slane who complained about the behaviour of Tyrone fans a few years ago. But shure the bhoys have to have their hi-jinx, don’t they? Or perhaps the GAA shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of those who enjoy it-oops , can’t argue that one either in the context of this thread

    “who better than the GAA to show our Chinese friends what Irish culture is about?”
    – how about the street cleaners in Temple Bar on a Sunday morning?

    “Actually wait a minute.

    A handful of thugs out of nearly 3 million GAA fans last year would be enough to denounce the GAA in unionist eyes.”

    Actually wait another minute.

    A handful of thugs out of hundreds of thousands of Orangemen, families and supporters would be enough to denounce the Orange in nationalist eyes

    “And unionists wonder why Irish people don’t bother listening to them any more.”

    LOL
    And the last time you listened to us was…?

    Answers on a post card to:

    George
    “Dunshootin(for the moment)”,
    The Hill of Tara,
    Fourth Green Field,
    Land of Make Believe

    entries to arrive before Strongbow came and spoiled it all.

    Isn’t it interesting how George squirms in admitting that the GAA is anti-Union but prefers to see that as pro-Irish (as if Unionists aren’t irish). Yet the OO can equally claim that it is pro-Protestant as the obverse of being anti-RC, or indeed anti-atheism, anti-muslim. But I don’t think george would let me away with that one.So let’s have sauce for the goose George.

    “2004 OO income: unknown
    Number of members: 40,000-WRONG down from 100,000-WRONG- and falling-WRONG AGAIN” NI footie fans “Keep Believing” while George “keep dreaming”

    “iluvni….having been one of the Cliftonville fans at the same match but in my case being in that stand, I can tell you for certain you are speaking absolute utter nonesense!”

    illuvni..having been one of the Bluemen in the South Stand at the same match I confirm your version, and it’s on a UTV videotape somewhere if someone’s memory needs refreshed.

  33. Trolling is when a contributer to this blog makes a savvy comment that is so critical of unionism to the point where it may elicit outraged responses

    actually trolling is giving birth to Barry McElduff

  34. I’m glad you find what I write interesting Darth.

    Care to tell me the number of Orange Order members you believe rather than saying the figures I cited were “wrong”.

    The University of Ulster did a study and found that the numbers have dropped from 100,000 to 40,000. Could you tell me why you don’t accept that figure? Give me your figure.

    I am pointing out that the Orange Order is proudly Anti-Roman Catholic while the GAA isn’t “anti-British”.

    There is a difference between 21st century Protestanism amd Orangeism.

    An Orangeman “….. should strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act or ceremony of Popish worship; he should by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments and the extension of its power.”

    Tell me where the GAA mentions the errors of being British or opposing it? It doesn’t. You don’t have to accept what I say, but I am going to tell you anyway.

    As for squirming, please don’t demonise me just because you don’t agree with me.

  35. George – your Sept 14 posts were truly superb – keep up the good work. As a matter of interest do you live in the North or the South?

  36. “As for squirming, please don’t demonise me just because you don’t agree with me.”

    demons don’t squirm- just naughty little boys who are caught out. The University of Ulster study to which you refer- if you quote it accurately- is wrong. The Institution has the same membership in 2004 as it had in 1904. It’s actually probably double whatit was in the mid 19th century. Membership peaked in the early 1960s, after which there was a decline into the early 1970s, and a stabilisation thereafter, with a modest increase in the 1990s. The figure of 100,000 members is an oft repeated myth, but sadly for your thesis it has never been at that level in the history of Northern Ireland. if you are relying on the contents of the seminar held in 2004 at Jordanstown as your source, the compiler of the monograph on the figures was careful to stress this.
    And no, I’m not going to tell you the current figures, because it would spoil your fun if you couldn’t mope that you didn’t get that bank loan/job offer/good time round the back of the City Hall because “they’re all jaffas”. Now you’ll just have to live with the awful prospect that you got the knockback on merit.

    Oh I grant you the GAA has had a different type of political activism, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been up to it’s neck in political activity- see the banners in the Hunger strike rallies as an obvious example.

    You don’t have to like the Orange Order, you’ll be relieved to know. But doesn’t it give you even a second’s thought that the vast majority of Unionists would rather watch crown bowls than the extremely exciting sport of gaelic football? Might there just be somewhere in your head the smidgeon of a realisation of the chill factor its politics engenders and encourages? Or is it more comfy to just put us all down as bigots? Yup. I know the answer to that one.

  37. Darthrumsfeld – I have absolutely no time for GAA – I think it’s pointless, twee, parochial shite. That said – the Orange Order? Come on!?!?!

    Did you SEE the press conference on TV last night?!?!?!?

    Have you ever ATTENDED a parade and recoiled at the sheer staggering awfulness of the participants and their neanderthal ‘supporters’.?!?!?

    Listen mate, attacking the GAA is fine in my book, but don’t try to do it by inviting comparisons with the BIGGEST shower of biggoted clowns on this island.

  38. Reg has been shown up for the wimp that he is? I wonder what silvia has had to say – since I saw she met Hain today too!! – especially given her connections to the police!!!!

  39. Reg has been shown up for the wimp that he is? I wonder what silvia has had to say – since I saw she met Hain today too!! – especially given her connections to the police!!!!

  40. Oh I grant you the GAA has had a different type of political activism, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been up to it’s neck in political activity- see the banners in the Hunger strike rallies as an obvious example

    Darth, that is completely incorrect. The biggest political upheaval in the GAA over the past 30 years was the refusal of the GAA at national congress to pass a motion backing the hunger strikers put forward by the Ulster council. A little bit of Googling will back this up. The GAA as an organisation refused to condone the hunger strikers despite the pressure from the northern members.

  41. Darth,
    you refuse to give what you believe to be the membership figure of the Orange Order and expect me to believe that isn’t 40,000?

    You repeat that you believe the figure given by a University of Ulster study was wrong but don’t back it up with any evidence.

    And as for your “Jaffa” comment why do ascribe sectarian tendencies to me just because I question you.

    In fact, and I know you don’t like them, a “Jaffa” across the table generally means I’m a shoe-in for the job but, hey, this is the Irish Republic, home of contradictions.

    The more commonly used term here in Dublin is “Miwadi”.

    I pointed out in an earlier post Orangeism does not equal Protestantism but you constantly seem to equate the two.

    Your refusal to say what you believe the number of Orange Order members to be is evidence to me, as if I needed it, that less and less Protestants, or “Jaffas” as you call them, are interested in, or believers of, the Orange ethos.

    How far out am I with 40,000?

    I, for one, am delighted at the ever-growing distance between the OO and the largest Protestant church south of the border, the Church of Ireland, for example.

  42. George et al
    Nice of you all to respond to my post.
    If the loyalists and/or Orangemen refuse to change their attitudes, would you still welcome them into a United Ireland?

    The consensus seems to be that Unionists attitudes would need to change (or would inevitably change) before being invited into a United Ireland.

    Just for the sake of argument, if you were a Unionist (who didn’t want a United Ireland) would you change your current attitude or not?

    No consent, no United Ireland.

  43. iluvni,

    “We’ll agree to differ then but ffs, don’t give me the oul keek about how that would put you off ever returning to Windsor Park.
    You sure you weren’t there for the cup final a couple of days after the Reds won the League?”

    Afraid I wasn’t at the final I had moved away by the time the Reds managed to win any thing worth while since ’79. But that was the last soccer match I attended in the six counties. This match along with a couple of other uncomfortable incidents at Windsor and other grounds would make me hesitant about a return not only to Windsor but to an Irish league match.

  44. “The biggest political upheaval in the GAA over the past 30 years was the refusal of the GAA at national congress to pass a motion backing the hunger strikers put forward by the Ulster council. A little bit of Googling will back this up. The GAA as an organisation refused to condone the hunger strikers despite the pressure from the northern members.”

    ..er, so the fact that the Ulster Council attempted to raise a political matter in a sporting body proves that it’s not a political organisation? it’s to the credit of the GAA as a whole that it had the wit to knock them back, but you prove my point- Northern GAA counties have had a politcal agenda. I mean, what would people say if warwickshire County Cricket Club tried to get the ECB to pass a vote condemning George Bush’s policies in Iraq? Wouldn’t it strike you as a bit abnormal? We don’t have much to do with Mayo or Carlow in NI- but we do see what our fellow Ulstermen in the GAA did- and it was politics.

    George- you can’t just throw out phrases like ” A university of Ulster Study” (unspecified)as Holy Writ, especially as if it’s the one I refer to, I have attended the seminars, debated the academics, and got the t-shirt to show that it is wrong.

    Life’s too short to keep arguing the point- just take it from me when I say it’s wrong- and no, I’m not going to claim that 40,000 is a hideous underestimation, but it is signifiacntly wide of the mark ( its not an over-estimation either before you get excited), and what does it matter if we are 10,000 or 1 million strong?

    I think you wilfully misunderstand my point about the term “jaffa”. What is always undeniable though is that we are the biggest community group within NI, far in excess of GAA membership, and yet we are ignored. I don’t pretend that every Protestant is in sympathy with the ethos or aims of Orangeism, yet if actual membership is about 1 in ten of the adult male population, then you can factor in the wives and children, siblings, parents, of the actual members to see the enormous sympathy for the aims of the Order. You seem to think big culture is good culture-hence the spraying of figures showing the GAA’s financial acumen about; that political culture is bad culture- hence the denial of any political dimension to the GAA, kindly debunked by Ringo; that violence can be justified in the context of bad cultural expression ( that’s not “justified” in the sense of your excusing it of course, but in the sense of it being rooted in a militaristic form of culture)-hence the bad culture that is orangeism with its quasi-military ethos( you’re obviously not a fan of the Salvation Army either), but not apparantly the violence of a full blooded contact sport.

    “I, for one, am delighted at the ever-growing distance between the OO and the largest Protestant church south of the border, the Church of Ireland, for example.”

    So would I be , if it were true, and not just because the average RoI Church of Ireland cleric is weaker than a kitten on the theology of his Church, but because Churches should be open to all but not in anyone’s pocket.

    But interestingly it’s not true, because Eames has networked with more Orangemen than any of his predecessors, as have many other senior clerics. The engagement hasn’t always been sympathetic, but nor should it be.

    And sniffy anti-Orange clerics in the C of I isn’t new, as readers of the late Bro( for a very short period admittedly!) Sean O’Casey can confirm.

    The Church of Ireland cannot distance itself from Orangeism without distancing itself from the Orangemen who sit on synods, vestries, and other parish. Orangesimmwas oroiginally strongest in the Cof I, and probably still is, though because membership is strongest in Anrim, Belfast and Down, the percentages of overall religions probably show an almost equal Presbyterian input. In the average rural Cof I parish I bet a larger percentage of church members are Orangemen than in the neighbouring Presbyterian church.Not too many churches in NI could close the doors to a Lodge Church service without experiencing a significant loss in terms of key and active members, collections , etc. Which brings us neatly to the interesting subject of the partitionist mentality of the southern C of I, admirably exemplified by yourself.

    I’m glad you can snuggle down in your state with nary a care for the institutional snubs to the former identity of your co-religionists in Eire, and curently of your co-religionists in the wee 6, because it obviously works for you.

    But if you casn’t share our aspirations then at least don’t denigrate them lest you achieve what you wish for. I mean, how many nice Church of ireland buildings will become carpet showrooms, coffee shops, and garages if we stop pouring thousands of our British pounds into subsidising your congregations? Where will all those freshfaced young curates from NI be replaced from , if the Church splits because of the pampered southerners? It might be in your interests to be a little less aping of the Old English, who as we know became ” More Irish than the Irish themselves”- and where is their cultur or identity now?

  45. “I’m glad you can snuggle down in your state with nary a care for the institutional snubs to the former identity of your co-religionists in Eire, and curently of your co-religionists in the wee 6, because it obviously works for you.

    But if you casn’t share our aspirations then at least don’t denigrate them lest you achieve what you wish for. I mean, how many nice Church of ireland buildings will become carpet showrooms, coffee shops, and garages if we stop pouring thousands of our British pounds into subsidising your congregations? Where will all those freshfaced young curates from NI be replaced from , if the Church splits because of the pampered southerners? It might be in your interests to be a little less aping of the Old English, who as we know became ” More Irish than the Irish themselves”- and where is their cultur or identity now?”

    Listen mate – your spelling, grammar and general grasp of syntax are matters for yourself – but REALLY, this shit is just incomprehensible.

  46. “I’m glad you can snuggle down in your state with nary a care for the institutional snubs to the former identity of your co-religionists in Eire, and curently of your co-religionists in the wee 6, because it obviously works for you.

    But if you casn’t share our aspirations then at least don’t denigrate them lest you achieve what you wish for. I mean, how many nice Church of ireland buildings will become carpet showrooms, coffee shops, and garages if we stop pouring thousands of our British pounds into subsidising your congregations? Where will all those freshfaced young curates from NI be replaced from , if the Church splits because of the pampered southerners? It might be in your interests to be a little less aping of the Old English, who as we know became ” More Irish than the Irish themselves”- and where is their cultur or identity now?”

    Listen mate – your spelling, grammar and general grasp of syntax are matters for yourself – but REALLY, this shit is just incomprehensible.

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