DUP and Sinn Fein to work together on parades…

There seems to be some tentative moves between the new partners in government to manage parading issues in-the-round if not on some of the specific block points.Interestingly, Willie Hay of the DUP identifies dissident Republican parades as a source of significant potential disruption:

“What I have voiced concern about is that we could have an Assembly and Executive all trying to work for a better future while there are people out on the streets opposing expressions of Protestant and unionist culture – or vice versa. This is going to be a very testing year for everyone in Northern Ireland and you could have dissident republicans, for example, attempting to flex their muscles and derail the process.”

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  • Ian

    “Interestingly, Willie Hay of the DUP identifies dissident Republican parades as a source of significant potential disruption”

    I took that comment as a reference to dissident Republicans trying to raise their profile by active opposition to contentious Loyalist parades.

    Which, if anything, is a reason NOT to allow parades to go ahead at Garvaghy Road, etc.

  • Ian

    Reading back my last post, I think I should clarify.

    By “that comment” I mean Willie Hay’s original comment, as quoted by Mick (“you could have dissident republicans, for example, attempting to flex their muscles and derail the process”), not Mick’s interpretation of his comment (i.e. that it was a reference to dissident Republican parades).

    Mick’s interpretation suggests a position by Willie Hay on republican parades that would be entirely at odds with the Unionist position that the right of assembly is absolute – surely you’re not suggesting an inconsistency of approach by a prominent Unionist spokesman, Mick – that would be unprecedented!!

  • hotdogx

    Well even unionists are objecting to orange parades and nationalist parades dont continually march in unionist areas or get forced through either

  • Ignited

    It is welcome to see some movement on the parades issue, even if it is simply tentative first steps.

    Parades (by anyone) should be facilitated as long as they are held legally and are carried out in a respectful manner.

    The major issue for the OO are the so-called ‘supporters’ who tag-along to their parades and are basically there for the booze and agitation. It’s a tough one because that falls into a policing issue but one which the OO have to communicate throughout the communities.

  • Ben

    Willie Hay is an Apprentice Boy as well as a member of the OO, so he’s got a foot in an organization that does negotiate, and in one that doesn’t. It seems like he’s trying to move things along, perhaps he’s practicing for his role as speaker. Meanwhile, I too read his statement as concern about dissident attacks on Loyalist parades, rather than opposition to Republican parades. In any case, Loyalists would like to see the Parades Commission go away, either because it’s deemed unworkable and unfairly restrictive (which is how they often feel), or because of some EU declaration that it infringes on civil rights. Better it should become obsolete because of local accommodation, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Any predictions for or speculation about Drumcree ten years on? Ben

  • Harry

    Am I correct in thinking that the National Holiday of the north – the 12th of July – is a day primarily aimed at celebrating the victory of king William through the parading of the OO? What ‘official’ capacity, if any, does the OO fulfil on that day, seeing as its parades are the centrepiece of the day?

    You see, the OO as an organisation is explicitly sectarian in its constitution and explicitly excludes catholics from its organisation. As such its ownership of the National Holiday of the state explicitly excludes almost one half of the population of that state.

    There’s a word for this – fascism.

    Of course unionists may argue that the OO is not in fact ‘officially’ in charge of anything on the 12th and that therefore the charge of fascism is groundless. Or they might point out that Paddy’s Day is an explicitly ‘Irish’ – in the sense of Irish separatist – festival and so similarly exclusionary in its political associations. In this latter they may have a point, though it could be pointed out that at least Paddy’s Day has the support of 85% of the island, whereas the 12th of July only has the support of half the population of the north.

    In any case, irrespective of whataboutery, the National Holdiay of the north excludes half the population of the north and the events associated with it take place over a period of months, not days, consisting of 3000 parades in total all across the north, a significant number of which pass through areas where they are seen as triumphalist and around 30 of which cause serious contention. Furthermore these situations are not ‘one-offs’, they repeat year after year after year.

    And yet we have people on here regularly attempting to equate these issues with ‘civil rights for protestants’, as if there is a shred of legitimacy to these fascist and triumphalist concerns. Only in such an abnormal society such as northern ireland would anyone argue that these displays of naked sectarian exclusion have the ‘right’ to impose themselves year after year on an unwilling population.

    These people are fascists and should be treated as such.

  • Travis

    Honestly, I think there’s a lot of truth in Harry’s post.

    “And yet we have people on here regularly attempting to equate these issues with ‘civil rights for protestants’, as if there is a shred of legitimacy to these fascist and triumphalist concerns. Only in such an abnormal society such as northern ireland would anyone argue that these displays of naked sectarian exclusion have the ‘right’ to impose themselves year after year on an unwilling population.”

    The number of OO marches each year now exceeds 3,400 ! And all done within a three-months period . Year after year after year after year. And the number of marches appears to be rising. This is madness!

  • seanzmct

    Predictably the bulk of comments are about Orange parades, with one commentator going over the top and dubbing the OO “fascist” because it excludes Catholics,who are not exactly queuing up to join. And would he want the sectarian AOH “treated like fascists” also-whatever is meant by that?

    I am not at all keen on Loyalist or Republican public parades and all the conflict that they invariably cause. In an ideal situation they would all pack up and take up a more constructive pastime. Short of that I would like to see such parades restricted to enclosed areas eg soccer or GAA stadiums. Perhaps any new arena at The Maze could be designed with this function in mind.

    At Easter in Stranorlar in Donegal I observed a Republican parade, which Martin McGuinness , our Deputy First Minister “designate”, addressed. The parade was led by a colour party of young gents in paramilitary attire including black berets. Very fascistic it looked. Surely this sort of militaristic parading should now be abandoned by Sinn Fein if they want the new Stormont dispensation to last. And surely the Orange Order needs to be more active in controlling the yobbish element its parades can attract.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    seanzmct: “Predictably the bulk of comments are about Orange parades, with one commentator going over the top and dubbing the OO “fascist” because it excludes Catholics,who are not exactly queuing up to join.”

    Any way do you suppose Catholics aren’t mobbing to sign up, sean? The Loyalist-affiliated “thud and blunder” bands? The “party songs?” The potted Loyalist camp followers known for the occasional sectarian rampage? Or is it, perhaps, just perhaps, the plain-faced sectarian nature of the organization itself?

    seanczmt: “Short of that I would like to see such parades restricted to enclosed areas eg soccer or GAA stadiums.”

    All you’ve done is change a sectarian “parade” into a sectarian “rally.” And I suspect that the damage deposit would be prohibitively high for such a rally, although the concession stands would likely turn a tidy profit. I’d hate to be the janitor after an OO event, tho.

  • seanzmct

    Dread Cthulhu:

    Sorry that the irony of my Maze reference went unappreciated. But surely, better a fenced-in rally than a public parade of sectarian nationalisms.

    Of course the OO is sectarian.That is the point of it.But is it accurate to describe it as “fascist”? Surely that sort of fast and loose useage does a disservice to the millions who were exterminated by the Nazis.

    I assume you agreed with my point about the catholic/nationalist/gay-hating AOH, and my observation on the SF blackshirts in Stranorlar at Easter.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>it excludes Catholics,who are not exactly queuing up to join.<

  • kokane

    To nationalists it is difficult to understand why people should be allowed to march through their areas celebrating the historical defeat of their community. But if that is what is so important to unionists then Nationalists should in this new climate facitlitate it.

    Unionists however dont seem to realise the the sight of a bowler hat in UK only serves to mark Unionists as distinctly Un-British and untolerant and further undermines their dwindling influence in the UK.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>But if that is what is so important to unionists then Nationalists should in this new climate facilitate it.<

  • kokane

    Prince,

    It could be argued that paedophiles have been making demands of the Catholic community for some time – that would be the quare fellahs that wear the long black skirts and the dog collars.

    But the serious reply is that Protestants have been the a minority in conflict in Ireland for hunderds of years and if they want to march about the place then if the conflict is over then fair enough. In my opinion they actually undermine their own position in the UK by such behaviour -so carry on bowler hatting.

  • Sean

    KOKANE

    the beer vendors won’t like this nick lol

    anyways thats a spurious shot at the Catholics as nobodies faith is free of those alegations

  • Anti-marches

    In relation to Drumcree/Garvaghy Road, could I say this, no matter how facetious (but factual) it may sound. At the height of Drumcree, the OO and unionist politicians regularly stated that the Drumcree march only commemorated those who fell at the battle of the Somme. That being the case, could some OO or unionist explain why July this year marks the 200th anniversary of the same parade? After all, the Somme only happened in 1916.
    In the pre-1990’s, the Drumcree parade was advertised in the Portadown newspapers as a “Boyne Commemoration”.
    The OO also organise an annual march in Portadown (which has been attended by Paisley and others) to commemorate the “massacre of Protestants at the Bann in 1641”.
    My solution to Drumcree/Garvaghy Road is very simple.
    If Protestant/unionist/OO/descendants of planters can celebrate their victory over the Catholic/nationalist/indigenous Irish at the Battle of the Boyne by marching through Garvaghy Road, then surely the reverse should also be permitted –
    a Catholic/nationalist/Republican/indigenous Irish should be permitted to march through residential areas of Portadown which are populated by Protestant/unionist/OO/descendants of planters in order to mark the Irish/Catholic victory/massacre of 1641 which actually happened in Portadown,unlike the battle of the Boyne..
    If one side objects to the other sides commemoration/celebration, then neither should be permitted to march.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Anti-Marches.

    You might have hit on something there, a viable comparison at last. We would need to find enough sicko’s willing to celebrate such an event though.

  • kokane

    Sean

    “anyways thats a spurious shot at the Catholics as nobodies faith is free of those alegations”

    Allegations is a bit light ? the numbers are very high – and when you through in the funny celibacy business – you begin to suspect it is either attracting the wrong people or producing them. When it come to paedos make no mistake we* got a hell of a lead.

    *Nationalist/Catholic Irish

  • Prince Eoghan

    Kok has a point Sean. Still doesn’t mean they should have carte blanche though, unlike the good brethren.

  • Tori

    I’m surprised about this amazing change that everyone can find in DUP members’declarations.Weren’t we all terrorists?What’s real DUP?The “Paysleyan wing”,ready for following another political way after years of extremism,or the “Allister-Gillespie movement”,still firmly convinced all republicans are thieves and thugs,disposed to leave the party?I think Ian Paysley has already understood Stormont(THIS STORMONT,MADE BY THIS PRINCIPLES)will’never lead to nationalist aims.

  • Sean

    Kokane

    The name seems to indicate that you are familiar with Canada?

    Have you never heard of the residential school scandals?

    those arent just catholics!

    Paedophiles wear any number of disguises

  • kokane

    I am not saying we have a monopoly just that we are the market leaders.

    p.s. talking of disguises what better than the old favourite trust me I am a ‘man of god’.