Republicans need re-own the 'Orange tradition'

Michael McDowell on his brand of Republicanism. He argues that for unification to happen at all, Republicans need to work on re-integrating the Orange tradition back into their own concept of an all Ireland Republic before it can stand a chance of fulfilling its long term aim of re-uniting the island.

  • bootman

    McDowell’s concept of republucanism extends as far as deporting kids, ignore him

  • JL Pagano

    I am not a MacDowell fan by any stretch of the imagination, but whatever his motivation, I have to admire his “tell it like it is” approach to publicly speaking out against the provisional movement – it cannot be denied that there is a singificant block of Southern opinion in this direction, and it’s about time a high-profile government figure expressed it.

    I think he is absolutely right about re-integration. As I have said on another blog, if we impose a United Ireland on the unionist community, we will be consigning our children to decades more violence, this time right throughout the island.

    His perfomance as Minister for Justice, however, is a whole different kettle of fish!

  • Henry94

    I welcome him to the debate. He has some distance to go to prove to nationalists that his attitude is anything more that partitionism dresssed up in rhetoric. Because if he is serious about a united Ireland then it’s not a question of what republicans should do but of what he should do.

  • Dualta

    Bingo! An excellent contribution by McDowell.

    Now, rather than slate the man himself or engage in the wanton dismissal of his arguments, let’s hear from Republicans just how they intend to achieve the consent of Protestants for total Irish independence.

  • TAFKABO

    But isn’t this speech by MacDowell an indication of what he would do?
    It would be nice if we heard what people think about his argument, rather than what they think about MacDowell.
    Unless concentrating on the man is but indication that some people are terrified of confronting the ball.

  • Henry94

    b TAFKABO

    I believe that Irish political unity will come by stages and degrees. I can well imagine that those stages will be ones in which the present majority community in Northern Ireland will hold on to their links with Britain, not merely as a matter of citizenship but in other possible forms – such as retaining the link by leaving Northern Ireland as part of the Commonwealth and possibly by pooling of EU functions with the Republic.

    Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that freaks unionists out? Given that the recent “loyalist infantila” was caused by suspicion of a hidden agenda how does an Irish minister advacing “stages theory” reassure you.

  • TAFKABO

    Henry.

    I didn’t say it reassures me, but it sure doesn’t threaten me, and that’s more than I can say for Sinn Fein.

  • Henry94

    Tafkabo

    So you don’t think he’s serious either?

  • TAFKABO

    I think he’s absolutely serious.I just don’t see the need to be threatened by republicanism that seeks to achieve it’s objectives by persuasion and accomodation.

    Sinn Fein and the tradition they represent has yet to grasp that they are the singles biggest impediment to reconcilliation between the two largest traditions on this island.

    If they seriously think that street pageants with children bearing mock weaponry in celebration of the IRAs campaign of terror against the Unionists is likely to achieve Irish unity, then we still have a long way to go.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Certainly, it is increasingly making economic sense for some form of all-island decision-making.

    The ‘Belfast-Dublin corridor’ (as some have called it) exists in name only – but in reality should be the focus for all sorts of business and technology activity. (I read recently that over the past decade the US has invested more in the Republic than it has in all of China. Surely, we should be getting a cut of that action?)

    Politically, of course, the argument is less clear cut – people’s alliegances, sympathies and gut-feelings are complex, often illogical and take generations to change – if ever. I think it’s unlikely that northern unionists are going to have faith in a southern administration for a long, long time.

    Having said that – it would be very interesting to see a large ‘unionist’ block sitting in the Dail – (perhaps runnning the country in a Fine Gael coalition that brings the entire country back into the Commonwealth?) Or a northern working class movement (of both catholic and protestant) re-invigorating the left across the country….

  • TAFKABO

    BTW Henry.

    What do YOU think of the central premise of his argument, namely that republicans need to re-own the Orange tradition?

  • Alan2

    I find McDowell to be the only Republican worth listening to. Not only do I fing his brand of Republicanism non threatening but actually embracing of my own identity. He hasn`t convinced me to vote for a United Ireland but he sure as heck doesn`t make me feel anti-United Ireland the way Sinn Fein do.

  • slug

    Alan2 – I agree.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    For a Southern politician I find Michael McDowell refreshingly honest and unambiguous. He’s a million miles away from Bertie Ahern’s statements that contain nothing but waffle and ambiguity.

    However, I cannot see the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community accepting any form of Dublin Rule in my life-time, no matter how it’s dressed up. Reactionary violence or the mass exodus of the Protestant people to mainland Britain would be the result if coerced into a so-called “United” Ireland…

  • 9countyprovience

    I fully agree with McDowell (shock!!) in this case. I absolutely detest the man as min for justice. I believe that this whole your culture my culture is one of the biggest stumbling blocks towards progress, nevermind towards a UI. I have been reading a lot on modern history of this island, and I am especially interested in the orange side of it. I believe with how modern Ireland has finally ‘made it’ as a fully functioning and successful first world economy, and with the influx of immigrants, that there is an interest amoung people about how we got here. With multi-culturism fast becoming a part of Irelands landscape and the ‘fall’ of the Catholic church as a major influence, their is a more open mindness towards our recent history. There certainly needs to be a more orange tint to Republicanism if it is to succeed. I also believe that orangism needs to look at it’s own history. For example, I’ve heard a story of an orangeman proclaiming that there wasn’t an Irish bone in his body! Unionist leaders and IRA Republicans have polarised the whole culture issue, trying to make it black and white.
    My view has always been that we are all Irish, some of us are Protestant, some Catholic (and some ‘other’ believe it or not). Some of us are British also while the rest of us are Irish Nationalist. The Battle of the Boyne is as much apart of my history as it is the Protestants and St. Patrick is as much apart of Protestant culture as it is of Catholic.

    Fair play to Tyrone yesterday. It was one hell of a game!

  • Two Nations

    I have to agree with other unionists here and say that I have a lot of time and respect for Michael too.

    I actively try to hear his opinion on a lot of topics.

    The PDs in general have to be applauded for the respect they show unionists. I would love to see a dialogue between them and my own community. They could play a big, almost central role in future North/South relations.

    Also, the key difference between PDs and SFs is that McDowell and co do not view Unionists as being morally bankrupt. That brings a major difference in their approach.

  • Henry94

    b TAFKABO

    What do YOU think of the central premise of his argument, namely that republicans need to re-own the Orange tradition?

    I think we would have to talk to the current owners about that. McDowell isn’t really saying anything republicans object to in principle but we doubt his sincerity.

    For example are those of us who live in the north going to get a chance to support his vision by voting for PD canditates in future elections? Unlikely.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Oliver Cromwell,

    You said the IRA took up arms:
    “FOR NO OTHER REASON except to defend the undefended catholic community in the north”.

    The IRA “Border Campaign” of the 50’s was, as the name suggests, carried out along the border of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Please tell me exactly how that was defending the “undefended catholic community”? The UDA and modern-day UVF weren’t even in existence until 1971 and 1966 respectively and small Protestant vigilante groups were not carrying out operations in the border areas of West Londonderry, West Tyrone, South Fermanagh, South Armagh and South Down!

    P.S. Do the murder of Robert McCartney, the Northern Bank robbery, the “greening” of the Torrens estate in North Belfast and the Rathenraw and Dunclug estates in Antrim and Ballymena, by the intimidation and consequent exiling of it’s Protestant community, along with the nightly attacks on a couple of hundred people in the Fountain and Cluan Place estates in overwhelmingly R.C./nationalist/republican areas of Londonderry and East Belfast respectively, constitute defending “the undefended catholic community”?

  • Real Person

    Concerned Loyalist, did you get that posting from the Love Ulster site?????????
    Totally OOT.

  • Shay Begorrah

    Hi two nations.

    Firstly, as a fairly republican guy, I do not think that Unionists are morally bankrupt – I do however think M McD is.

    I would argue that there are more important similarities between the PDs and the main Unionist parties:

    Both groups are very right wing economically and socially (anti welfare, pro private education, etc)

    Both groups have a mixture of contempt and fear for the working classes offset by frightening the lower orders into compliance with terror of the “other” (be they immigrants or catholics – both, of course, breeding like rabbits).

    Both groups choose their friends by their politcal enemies rather than by common political credos (apartheid South Africa, Israel and Colombia would be supported not becuase of any love of Zionism/Big south american landowners or racism but because their enemies share similar characteristics – displaced, left wing and native).

  • T.Ruth

    An Ireland of equals will not come about while the Republican movement vents its spleen at every opportunity on every aspect of Unionist and orange culture. Unionists exist-we are in the majority in Northern Ireland and are not going away you know.
    Republicans are great at spouting out on about equality of esteem,equality in human rights,equality in civil liberty-now its time for them to act to show that their commitment to these fundamental democratic principles extends to Unionists also. A culturally united Ireland is a not a possibility while Unionist are prevnted from celebrating their Britishness. It will not be a political possibility in any of ur lifetimes and any future for our island must be based on that reality and not on a continued peddling of some outmoded republican dream.

  • Concerned Loyalst

    Oliver Cromwell,
    Gusty Spence still protests his innocence in relation to the Malvern Ams murders. Having already served a life sentence I am inclined to believe that he wasn’t the gunman who shot dead Peter Ward.

  • Dick Doggins

    Concerned loyalist, mate that last posting made me laugh, you`re not McDowell in disguise, are you?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Concerned loyalist, it happens all the time, try not filling in the security code until you are finished a message and ready to hit post – I used to accomplish the same blog stutter by accidently hitting refresh to see if anyone else had posted in the meantime.

  • BogExile

    ‘However, sooner or later, you may face up to the truth that the unionist community is ruled by psychopathy rather than politics.’

    Pure undiluted republican fascism of the ‘we’ll help you to think the right way’ (or it’s one settler one bullet?) mentality.

    Oilbhéar Chromaill you represent, perversely, one of the main obstacles to irish unity – on the contrary Michael mcDowell is someone who could make even me a persuadable unionist.

    The naiive notion that Unionism is a dangerously deformed state of mind as opposed to a valid point of view (however revoltingly expressed at the extremes)is simply laughable agit-prop. Grow up.

  • smcgiff

    Questions for unionists:-

    Concept of Republicanism – For/Against or Ambiguous?

    Much of Michael’s article was a reclaiming of the term republicanism to that known by everyone in the World except some in these two Islands.

    Would your attachment to Great Britain be any less if there were no Monarchy, and the UK became a republic?

    I’d imagine not materially so, so is it fair to say that the fact the ROI is a republic is not really a concern?

    Is unionism able to see the wood from the trees? That is to say that they are open to the ideas of Republic and not against it because the term has been hijacked by a terrorist organisation.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Why has everyone missed the appalling overtones of ‘Shay Begorrah’s last posting, where he used the term ‘native’ to imply that unionists are not as ‘native’ as he is?
    I note the term ‘displaced’ as well. Does Shay believe the Protestants stole his land?
    It’s laughable that this person went on to compare himself to a black south African when he can come out with such hateful, infantile rubbish.

    There will be no united Ireland while Sinn Fein fosters these attitudes. Ever.

  • smcgiff

    I’d support much of what Michael has to say, with the exception of:-

    His first reason why a unified Ireland would make sense is pretty poor. Equally, if nationalists accepted being part of the UK then the said problems would also go away.

    But, I’d agree strongly with his other arguments. It’s up to nationalists to convince unionists of the view that their improved wellbeing/power/control in a UI is greater than their attachment to the UK.

    Also, I’d go further and suggest the unified Ireland should rejoin the commonwealth, and not just the six counties.

  • slug

    Smgiff

    I am not against the constutitional monarchy system that the UK shares with Norway and other scandinavian countries, though I think that the British Royals should move in the direction of lower costs and greater transparency in tax-payment, etc. If a majority of people in UK wanted an elected president instead of a hereditary head of state then I would be perfectly happy with that too. Thus, its not a major issue. I think the present monarch, Elizabeth II, has been a very good thing for the UK over the last 50+ years. The future of the monarchy depends, in part on her successors ability to do the job so well.

    PS I would really like to see an invite from the ROI to HM soon.

  • smcgiff

    slug, ‘PS I would really like to see an invite from the ROI to HM soon.’

    Don’t think it’s as simple as that. Similar to the Pope ( 😉 ), one only asks when the invite is guaranteed to be accepted. I think they call it diplomacy. Mary Mac would love to have her. Bertie wouldn’t mind either, but not sure if Madge would be too interested.

    She’s a lady of advanced years and has probably decided to leave it to the future King. Understandably, Mountbatten’s murder may have had an impact too.

    BTW, I think there’d be a warm welcome from the HELLO/OK ‘class’ of readers. Of course there’ll be hecklers, but that’s to be expected! 😉

    Also, does anyone know of her opinion towards the ROI. I’ve never heard her make mention of the Free State! 🙂

  • slug

    Smgiff:

    I find it impossible to believe that she is the one holding it up. She has received the Irish President so hardly likely to turn down a reply. I am not accusing or trying to make a negative point about Ireland, which is a great great country. It could well be something the two PMs are holding off for some reason – they are the ones with power. It would be very much more significant for Queen Elizabeth to visit Ireland than Charles (who has already done so) partly because of her age and the respect she enjoys.

  • smcgiff

    Dunno, Slug, I’m guessing it’s on her side. AFAIK, Mary was very keen on the idea.

  • slug

    smgiff:

    Basically she is one of our greatest monarchs ever, so it would be really wonderful if she were to visit your country. I think it would really symbolise, in a very big way, the reality that the UK and Ireland have come to enjoy a wonderful level of respect and affection for each other. It is time. I think the PMs are holding it up for the timing must be just right.

  • Biffo

    Shore Road Resident

    Why has everyone missed the appalling overtones of ‘Shay Begorrah’s last posting, where he used the term ‘native’…

    If you disagree him, please point out where he errs.

    Do you also consider references to “Native Americans” appalling or is it just the history of your own country that you are unfamiliar with?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Dear Shore Road Resident,

    I have never compared myself to a black south african, I have never been a member of SF and I was not around to have my land “stolen”. For all I know some of my ancestors arrived in Ireland after yours did and I do not think Unionists have any moral obligation to up sticks and return to Scotland (and thence back to northern Ireland if you are of Pictish origin).

    However it is a little disingenuous to suggest that the plantation arrived in Ulster, to appropriate a lie, to find a land without a people for a people without a land. Ulster was settled, its native population displaced, its native culture systematically erased and so on. And before you say it “Not the only place, not the worst example by a distance, etc”.

    It is nobodys fault but it would be a mistake to acknowledge it as a good either.

    A mistake because the temptation for large states to invade and settle smaller territories around them is still strong, Irish nationalism is is just one succesful example that it can be partially reversed.

    I would now like to apologise to everyone for going comletely off topic.

  • slug

    smgiff

    I believe QEII would love to do it, and I certainly believe that the present Irish President would love to have the Queen, therefore I believe it is with the Blair and Ahern – they are perhaps waiting to get the exact timing right.

  • smcgiff

    ‘they are perhaps waiting to get the exact timing right.’

    The imminent announcement may help!

  • Richard Dowling

    When Conor Cruise O Brien published an article some years
    back, asking Unionists to investigate the POSSIBILITY that
    their interests would be better served in some sort of United
    Ireland, he had to resign from the UK Unionist Party (led by
    Bob McCartney).

    What is sad is that both Conor Cruise and Michael McDowell
    are well able to make a such case. In stark contrast to the
    Provisional movement, whose credentials and appeal are
    sectarian in nature. They simply have never been able to
    attract more than a smattering of those they consider to be ‘not
    one of their own’ — which is a very broad church indeed.

  • Alan

    *Because if he is serious about a united Ireland then it’s not a question of what republicans should do but of what he should do.*

    And there lies the core of my despair with the current position of SF. For some reason everything else must change, all ideals are contingent, bar republicanism. Why worry about false consciousness when you know you are right?

    For some reason SF seem happy with their partial hegemony (wonder where that post disappeared to?)of a minority community. They see no reason to confront their own shibboleths, even to achieve what they claim is their goal.

    It would be really interesting to see a rounded SF position on how to encourage non-nationalists in the North to accept unity, how to approach them. What would the immediate impact be for individuals? How would SF need to change to achieve this? But we just have to keep waiting.

  • Real person

    Richard which sdlp handbook did you write that from!!!Remember eddie, sorry richard, keep mixing you up with a chairperson from Cookstown,if your going to post, don`t be ashamed to say your a sdlp member. Hidden agenda and all that????

  • DK

    smcgiff

    “Questions for unionists:-

    Concept of Republicanism – For/Against or Ambiguous? “

    I would always have called myself a British Republican. I have no time for the concept of being “born to rule”.

    That said, I do acknowledge that the British monarcy tends to be fairly benign and gives a lot of people pleasure. Not something that I really understand but I do acknowledge. In terms of priorities, removal of the monarcy would be in the nice to have category but not worthy of much energy. Bigger issues to tackle.

    Back to the thread. In the past I have posted my support for McDowell and his willingness to take on the moral delingency of the Provisional Republican Movement. I have noticed that the PRM hatred of McDowell is absolutely that. It is a hatred of the man and is not based on a well constructed opposition to his view of what “Republicanism” should represent. They hate him because he exposes them for what they are, “an immoral criminal organisation”.

    If you want evidence, or their hatred, just read some of the earlier posts on this thread and similar on other threads.

    I would certainly consider forging a new Nation with the likes of McDowell and the SDLP in the North. My vision for a United Ireland is one built on a strong moral code where murder is not called by any other name and history correctly records the vile campaign waged by the PRM which served to frustrate the attainment of a true Republic.

    Before you fire off the “whatabouts”, history should also correctly record the blatent discrimination weilded by Stormont in the days of Unionist rule, the dubious treatment of Northern Ireland under successive British governments,(collusion and all), and the hate filled sectarianism within large sections of the protestant “underclass”.

    Right now, as far as I am concerned the PRM are the enemy of the Irish people. They have embarked on another dispicable course of demonising and isolating the protestant community. They have no intention of acting as persuaders. They intend to increase their power base in Ireland and increase pressure on a compliant British Government to jettison the Unionist’s.

    The resulting state in Ireland will be anything but united. It will be a disaster.

    Im many ways true Republicans should concentrate their attentions on this enemy and seek to enroll the Protestant community in the fight. Bonds of friendship and trust may well be built which can open up new opportunites, even a new “United Republic of Ireland”, in the true sense.

  • smcgiff

    Well said, DK.

  • Biffo

    DK

    “..true Republicans should concentrate their attentions on this enemy and seek to enroll the Protestant community..”

    This sounds very naive.

    Would you envisage PDs campaigning in loyalist areas? Will they be sitting on the parades forum etc etc?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Once again folks, Mike McD is wildly unpopular down south not because of his anti-replublicanism but because of his role in the citizenship referendum and many other other retrograde steps including restricting freedom of information. This fella is no more a good guy that Alfredo Uribe, do no not cosy up to him just becuase you have some of the same enemies.

  • George

    Shay,
    on the referendum, in can be argued that McDowell merely brought Irish citizenship law in line with the EU and UK. If you accept all EU countries have racist citizenship laws fine, but don’t single out McDowell as some kind of beast.

    It was passed by a strong majority and there has been absolutely no fall-out since. I believe you are totally incorrect to cite the citizenship referendum for McDowell’s “unpopularity”.

    He’s more popular than you think and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tops the poll in his Dublin constituency next election.

    DK,
    Indeed. I actually argued it from the other side, that the Northern Protestant community need to enrol the people of the Irish Republic in their fight.

    You know, the ones who voted in the 161 other parliamentarians alongside the 5 Sinn Feiners at the last Dail elections – the overwhelming majority of the Irish people.

  • Shay Begorrah

    Oh please George. McDowell took one of the more progessive pieces of the Irish constitution and got rid of it in a move opposed by all the Churches, the trade Unions, the Greens, the Labour party and of course Sinn Fein, in the process whipping up racist paranoia about Ireland’s non problem with imigrants. He is a dangerous, cynical ultra conservative despised by anyone actually progressive in Ireland.

    As for him being a beast, go read Richard III.

    Finally though he might top the poll again in DunL (they are, after all, very wealthy down that way) he might also find himself out on his face as he did in the 1997 election. Heres hoping.

  • Biffo

    George & DK

    “DK,
    Indeed. I actually argued it from the other side, that the Northern Protestant community need to enrol the people of the Irish Republic in their fight.”

    This thread has taken a turn for the surreal

    What fight are you both talking about – the next NI assembly election?

    As I said before – you both sound incredibly naive.

  • Richard Dowling

    ‘Real Person’ ….. (How real can a pseudonym be)!

    Sorry to disappoint you. But, here in the South, the IRA’s remit
    is suspect. Their constituency limited. Their poltical agenda
    challenged. And their prospects undermined by the very
    presumptiousness which assumes that the Provisionals speak
    for ‘us’ too. They don’t, as the more articulate of our party
    leaders and spokesmen make (increasingly) abundantly clear.

    Whether that spokesman be Pat Rabbitte, Liz McManus, Mary
    Harney, Enda Kenny, Michael McDowell, Trevor Sargent or
    Bertie Ahern (in his saner moments), the message is the same.
    Sinn Fein speak only for themselves — ‘Themselves Alone’ —
    AND (how can anyone deny it) for the Provisional IRA.

    And I speak for myself, too. I don’t need to hide behind the
    skirts of any Northerner — Nationalist, Loyalist, Unionist or
    Republican. Politically, I am a free agent. And that’s how I aim
    to stay. And thank you for reminding me to give you guys a
    wide, wide berth at the next election.

  • curious

    Concerned Loyalist posted at 12.13 that:

    “Gusty Spence still protests his innocence in relation to the Malvern Ams murders. Having already served a life sentence I am inclined to believe that he wasn’t the gunman who shot dead Peter Ward.”

    Is it possible that I’m going mad? I could have sworn that I read an interview in the Irish News recently with Peter Ward’s mother in which she stated that Gusty Ward contacted her and asked for her forgiveness for murdering her son. Can anyone verify that for me or am I imagining things?

  • Richard Dowling

    What political leap of faith is now expected of those who have
    heard the testimony of credible eyewitnesses and accepted the
    professional analysis of the decommissioning body?

    Does it mean that the ‘Provisional’ standards, once accepted as
    a temporary inducement to Republicans to come in from the
    cold, are now to become PERMANENT? Embodied in our
    psyche as everlasting testimony to the power of political
    blackmail, wrung from us and our elected representatives with
    a concentrated campaign of terror. Followed by a debilitating
    campaign of muted threats and self-serving concessions?

    Not that I don’t trust the bastards, don’t you know.

  • Richard Dowling

    What political leap of faith is now expected of those who have
    heard the testimony of credible eyewitnesses and accepted the
    professional analysis of the decommissioning body?

    Does it mean that the ‘Provisional’ standards, once accepted as
    a temporary inducement to Republicans to come in from the
    cold, are now to become PERMANENT? Embodied in our
    psyche as everlasting testimony to the power of political
    blackmail, wrung from us and our elected representatives with
    a concentrated campaign of terror. Followed by a debilitating
    campaign of muted threats and self-serving concessions?

    Not that I don’t trust them, of course.

  • Richard Dowling

    The irony of course is that the Republic of Ireland has ceded its
    Constitutional claim to Northern Ireland, but the Provisional IRA
    has not. And, it has no intention of formally altering one iota,
    one jot or tittle of that Constitution until its ‘tricolore’ territorial
    ambitions have been forced down our throats.

    We can’t say we weren’t warned!

  • Richard Dowling

    The irony of course is that the Republic of Ireland has ceded its
    Constitutional claim to Northern Ireland, but the Provisional IRA
    has not. And, it has no intention of formally altering one iota,
    one jot or tittle of that Constitution until its ‘tricolore’ territorial
    ambitions have been forced down our throats.

    We can’t say we weren’t warned!

  • carl

    Richard

    Are you talking to yourself ?

  • Richard Dowling

    Carl,

    I checked your email address. Don’t WORRY? Be happy.

  • PaddyReilly

    Reading through Michael McDowell’s speech, I am struck by his quote:-
    “Please identify with the concept of an Irish Republic. By the way, we reject many aspects of your identity, culture and values as less than truly Irish”.
    And rightly so. The problem is that the “Orange” tradition implies the Orange Order, and the OO is implicitly sectarian: it requires that its members be Protestant, and expels them if they marry Catholics: it does not expel them for killing Catholics.

    It sometimes happens that an organisation is so closely linked to a particular sect that it requires its employees/members to be of that sect: an Anglican or Catholic publishing house or charity, perhaps; but there is no precedent for exclusivism of this sort. One would not, in England, allow an organisation to restrict itself to white folks only, and then wander the streets in demi-uniform, provoking disturbances.

    Protestantism is a creation of the OO. It does not exist elsewhere: as a joke referred to on this website points out, in the real world one is Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915. In NI, Protestantism is a coalition of various sects, brought into being in order to obtain power. At the same time, the Catholic identity is a creation of the OO. Catholics, under this dispensation, signifies only that group of people among whom the practise of Catholicism is seen neither as unusual or reprehensible. The various factions into which the inhabitants of countries free of Protestant control organise themselves, clerical and anti-clerical, Garibaldians and Socialists, all are subsumed into one.

    James Connolly created the tricolour as a symbol of the Green and Orange factions and the peace in between them. This was hopelessly optimistic. The OO is not there to promote unity and equality: it exists to perpetuate division, threatening the non-Protestant population and perpetuating itself by enforcing marital apartheid on the Protestants.

    In a United Ireland, or even in a properly integrated United Kingdom, such an organisation cannot exist. Less than truly Irish, it is also less than truly British, and less than truly human. And if one takes away the OO, in what does Northern Protestant culture consist?

    As for identity, I don’t see how that matters. In England, there is a Huguenot Society, for people who descend from French-speaking Protestants. There is no problem that people who live in England should wish to identify with ancestors who came from France. But there is no requirement that the members should speak French, or be Protestants. Genealogical Societies of this sort are welcome: they record a true version of history. Imagine an Apprentice Boys Society, which admitted all the descendents of the Apprentice Boys. It might be found that half of them were Catholic! The same goes for all clan gatherings and family societies. The Orange tradition involves hijacking an event in the 17th Century and presenting it as the exclusive property of a coalition of sects in the 21st Century. And if they feel they have the right to deny others their heritage, why should it be wrong to deny them their right to do so?

  • Richard Dowling

    Now that we’re on the subject of sectarianism, Paddy Reilly, is
    there any worse advert for Ireland that the Republican and
    Loyalist gangs of the past 30 years? Statistically, alone the
    Provisional IRA (how many Protestants are members of that
    outfit) have killled, tortured and ‘disposed of’ more innocent
    human beings than the combined brutal sectarian thugs of the
    UDA/UFF, UVF, Red Hand Commandos, LVF and B Specials
    combined (and how many Catholics are on that list of
    degenerates)?

    Decent people everywhere are aghast at the brass neck of
    these bla’guards, who continue to stand — arms akimbo — and
    lecture others on how to administer justice. Better Minister
    McDowell than the friends of Paddy Reilly, i’d say.

  • George

    Shay,
    I was against the referendum change but am pointing out that you are indulging in hyperbole by saying there was racist paranoia behind McDowell implementing it unless you believe all EU countries, including the UK, who have the exact same law, to be racist.

    My understanding of the referendum was it closed a loophole brought about by the GFA and restored to the Oireachtas a measure of the general power given to it in the 1937 Constitution.

    It all came to a head with the Chen case. Do you believe that prior to the referendum that Irish citizenship was being exposed to abuse?

    My view is that it was but that the abuse was not significant enough to alter the citizenship laws. The majority voted me down.

    You list the trade unions, churches, Greens, Sinn Fein and Labour as if they are the progressive movers in Ireland. Give me a break.

    By the way McDowell is in Dublin South East, not Dunlaoghaire and was elected along with a Labour, Green and 2 FFs.

    Greens generally get elected in leafy suburbs as do their smoked salmon socialist colleagues.

  • PaddyReilly

    I am intrigued to find, on the authority of someone called Richard Dowling, that my friends have been torturing and murdering people. Particularly as I live in the South of England. This is obviously a further manifestation of what I was talking about: fence-building. In a world of different individuals, each with a different ancestry, varying views on religion, and a different degree of guilt and innocence, you create a fence, and place everyone on a particular side. Then you can lob bombs over with a good conscience.———————————————————————————-

    As regards the statistics profferred, they strike me as doubtful. I have the distinct impression that Catholics sustained the greater number of casualties in the violence of the late 20th Century. The explanation advanced is they were killed by their own side. But surely this is a matter for Catholics to worry about? And given the popularity of Sinn Fein in the Catholic camp, an organisation that no end of responsible Unionists insist is synonymous with the PIRA, should not these deaths be reclassified as suicide?———————————————————————-

    And what has this got to do with the matter in hand? Is it proposed that at the end of every decade we tot up the figures and say, left side of the fence, you’ve killed 367, right side, 342, right side wins? If we restart the war and allow you to make the numbers up, will that give me the right of free speech?————————-

    In order that we can have a future, we have, sometimes, to forget the past.—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    —“The irony of course is that the Republic of Ireland has ceded its Constitutional claim to Northern Ireland, but the Provisional IRA has not”.——————————————————————————————–

    This is a misunderstanding: suspended might be a better word than ceded. Once the nationalist vote in the 6 counties reaches 50%, they will be able to reverse this position. Or maybe they will choose to join Norway instead, who knows?

  • Betty Boo

    Paddy,
    Wasn’t that you have to learn from your past?

  • PaddyReilly

    Wasn’t what?

  • Brian Boru

    “Once again folks, Mike McD is wildly unpopular down south not because of his anti-replublicanism but because of his role in the citizenship referendum and many other other retrograde steps including restricting freedom of information. This fella is no more a good guy that Alfredo Uribe, do no not cosy up to him just becuase you have some of the same enemies.”

    Shay_Begorrah, if the Citizenship referendum was so unpopular why did 80% vote for it? He is not “wildly unpopular” except with the politically-correct journalists in the media who ranted and raved during the campaign at how “racist” the referendum was. They have never forgiven him for winning the referendum. I tip McDowell to hold his seat in 2007.

  • DK

    SB

    You warn us not to cosy up to McDowell because of a perceived, and contested, (see BB above), view that he has racist tendancies, evidenced by the Citizenship referendum.

    I would rather take a chance on that than cosy up to Adams who I perceive to have been involved in prosecuting a campaign of murder and mayhem on my community.

  • Mike

    Paddy Reilly –

    “Protestantism is a creation of the OO. It does not exist elsewhere:…”

    What a bizarre statement. It betrays a severe lack of knowledge about the history of religion in Europe and further afield.

    “James Connolly created the tricolour as a symbol of the Green and Orange factions and the peace in between them.”

    Actually the Tricolour was promoted by the Young Irelanders over half a century before Connolly.

  • PaddyReilly

    That’s funny, I’ve wandered all over Britain and America and swathes of Europe, but the only people I’ve met who called themselves Protestant came from NI. Everyone else was Episcopalian, Church of Scotland, Unitarian, Christian, etc.

    From the Eastern Orthodox point of view, both Catholic and Protestant are the same thing, namely Azymite (yeast-less). But I don’t think it would serve any purpose to ask on a census in Britain or Ireland, are you Orthodox or Azymite? Surely one has a right to categorise onesself?

    From the very start the non-Catholic Azymites divided themselves into several streams, Lutheran, Calvinist and Socinian. Since then there have been ever more schisms. Apparently there are 45 different Churches on the Shankill Road.

    Originally, the OO was a movement for members of the Established Church only. All others, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc, were called dissenters. It had no pretence of being democratic: it stood for the power of the Crown. Around 1826, I believe, it admitted Presbyterians and others. Thus the Protestant identity was created, in its current shape and form, and the Dissenter identity was abolished. And after this it was possible for Orangemen to win seats in parliament, despite the expansion of the suffrage.

    But exclusive, racist pan-Protestantism does not exist elsewhere. Even the OO’s sister organisation, the KKK, has long since admitted Catholics. Even in Glasgow, intermarriage has taken the edge off sectarian conflict.