Confronting the elephant- Part 1

A number of days ago I started a thread suggesting that, if the Loyal Orders were serious about engendering trust within the nationalist community and working towards an inclusive 12th July celebration, then tackling the elephant that is the overtly sectarian dimension to the Loyalist marching season would be a prerequisite.
And so to a case study: June 2007 and its Groundhog Day in the normally quiet village of Stoneyford, County Antrim. However, as in the previous two years, a loyalist band has applied to march on the 11th Night into a number of newly-built mixed housing developments. A number of years ago, the band completed the parade wearing ‘Orange Volunteers’ paramilitary t-shirts, no doubt to make the numerous catholic and mixed marriage homeowners in particular feel welcome, though they were banned from the housing developments last year. The new housing developments have been the scene of a number of sectarian attacks on homes and cars, with a number of catholic families fleeing their homes in the past three years.
Now, this isn’t a Loyal Order parade as such- no, the local Brethren will be marching up the main street as usual the following day, without any complaints. But the band will be involved in the 12th July parade as usual, with many of its members making up the membership of local lodges- and the parade will be starting and finishing in the local Orange Hall.
As an interesting aside, the leading Stoneyford loyalist, Mark Harbinson, is a senior member of the band, not to mention new supporter and election worker for local Ulster Unionist MLA, Basil McCrea.
And so to my proposition: it is clear that there is a section of the Orange Order and broader unionist community which loathes such calculated acts of sectarian harassment.
Would it not send a hearteningly positive message of Orange intentions were senior members of the Order to publicly condemn such antics and, at least in this example, recommend the band follow the lead of the local lodge?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Any guesses as to what part 2 of this crap (notice title of this thread) is going to be?

    Maybe the OO are sectarian cus they don’t let Catholics join?

    No, they have risen to the position they are in because they won a lot of votes. Ignoring taht is fucked up.

    Ahh but would them people have voted for SF if the provos didn’t use the gun? Chances are no, look at the voting. Look at the people who make up their leadership team. The shinners would be nothing without marty and marty would be nothing without the provos…

  • Cruimh

    “Two points. It is equally true and an equally valid argument that the people living in those villages have to react to new people coming in with different feelings on the parades. The answer that gives a sensible solution is dialogue and compromise, but, er those have been things that the OO have been spectacularly bad at. ”

    Kensei – a good post.

    However with an issue like this march or no march, it’s a yes or no. It’s not like a Union wanting 10% and management wanting to offer 2% and after negotioations they settle on 6% phased over two years.

    The changing demographics is something that needs to be addressed. Nothing will ensure resistance to “the other side” moving into an area more than the knowledge that they will then try to alter it. If you don’t like what goes on in the village, don’t move there. If some prods decided to move into Falls area and demanded that republican events were cancelled what would the response be ?

  • kensei

    “Ahh but would them people have voted for SF if the provos didn’t use the gun? Chances are no, look at the voting. Look at the people who make up their leadership team. The shinners would be nothing without marty and marty would be nothing without the provos…”

    It’s speculation: you could argue that it’s the guns that held SF back.

    “However with an issue like this march or no march, it’s a yes or no. It’s not like a Union wanting 10% and management wanting to offer 2% and after negotioations they settle on 6% phased over two years.”

    No, that is 100% wrong and totally inconsistent with dialogue in the past. There are normally specific conditions attached to the parade: no music at that section, or no loyalist flags and so on.

    “If some prods decided to move into Falls area and demanded that republican events were cancelled what would the response be ? ”

    With a few: probably fuck off. But you’d find the ability to get action proportional to the number of people in the area and the strength of the opposition, just as a political fact of life.

  • DJK

    As someone who was born and bred in Stoneyford, I find the current situation in the village deeply disturbing. In my youth the lodge was very much a part of village life and the OO members were basically decent people, made up of farmers, quarry workers etc. There was always a younger rough element and a certain individual appeared to take a leader role of this element and manipulate them in accordance with his narrow sectarian and bigoted attitude. He has done tremendous damage to the reputation of Stoneyford. I remember one incident in the 80’s when my mother confronted him and forced him to remove a paramilitary flag from outside our house.

    Today with the new housing developments there is a much more mixed population, which is no bad thing. I was never a member of the OO but did enjoy watching the village lodge coming home in the main street. I think that should be tolerated by the new arrivals to Stoneyford. However, any diversion of this small parade into the housing developments is clearly designed to provoke catholic families. The lodge should expel anyone who supports this. It is time for the decent men to stand up to the thugs who are infecting the village life.

    As an aside, in my memory the greatest act of violence ever carried out in Stoneyford was the brutal murder of Adrian McGovern, a catholic father of five young children. He was slaughtered in front of his children by the PIRA. He was a lorry driver and committed the heinious crime of delivering building materials to a police station.

  • Briso

    Posted by darth rumsfeld on Jun 21, 2007 @ 09:06 AM

    “Why would you really want to walk down a road where you’re jeered at and not wanted?”

    Ah there’s the rub (as Paul Berry said to his masseur)

    ………

    This is a very fair post in my opinion, though it does miss an important point out. Where the orders have been prepared to talk to local people accomodation has been reached, including in Dunloy. The OO has changed policy on this over Drumcree and fair play to them. In the past they just said “We will walk where we want and do what we want without even acknowledging your existance.” The gradual erosion of this attitude is what will guarantee the future for the order. I’m not at all pessimistic, not least because the coat-trailing exercise addressed by this blog will almost certainly not be allowed. Again.

  • Billy

    Roger

    “there is no truth with much of the parmilitary elements as well.”

    Really! – I’d be very grateful if you could point out which particular examples of the OO links with “loyalist” paramilitaries that I and others have cited here are untrue.

    Is it the “UVF” lodge on the Shankill with the banner commemorating the Shankill Butchers among others not real and not participating in OO parades? – This is mentioned in Peter Taylor’s execllent book – “Loyalists” – is he a liar too?

    OO lodges participating in the annual memorial march for UVF sectarian murderer and OO member Brian Robinson. In fact, there is an OO lodge banner dedicated to Robinson which is usually carried by SHANKILL BUTCHER and OO MEMBER Eddie McIlwaine.
    The OO gave an undertaking in 2005 that this banner would not be permitted in OO parades again. Less than 10 weeks later, it was in another OO parade carried by SHANKILL BUTCHER and OO MEMBER Eddie McIlwaine.

    Is the picture of OO members raising the 5 fingers outside the bookmakers where 5 innocent Catholics were murdered by “loyalists” a fabrication?

    Did Senior Belfast Orangeman Dawson Baillie not condone OO members rioting and attacking the police in a TV interview?

    Have the OO taken any action against any of these offending lodges? It would appear not as they are all still actively participating. In fact the number of offensive banners is increasing – a number of banners have now been introduced commemorating “loyalist” sectarian murderer and drug dealer John Gregg. These banners feature in official OO parades around Whitewell and Gregg’s local area.

    Did Billy Wright and Mad Dog Adair not feature prominently at the first Drumcree riot? Indeed did Wright not meet with Trimble and senior OO leaders – this also is mentioned in Peter Taylor’s book – did he make that up too?

    Have the OO made any changes to their rules to exclude anyone with a conviction for “loyalist” terrorism from joining or expel any current memebers who have such a conviction?

    Have “loyalist” terrorist arms not been found stored in a number of OO halls over the last few years?

    I’d be very grateful if you can refute any of these points with EVIDENCE as opposed to your usual unsubstantiated mopery claiming that it’s all lies.

  • Briso

    Posted by Billy on Jun 21, 2007 @ 11:20 AM
    >Did Senior Belfast Orangeman Dawson Baillie not
    >condone OO members rioting and attacking the
    >police in a TV interview?

    Only because he thought it did meant ‘condemn’, the fool.

  • Cruimh

    “With a few: probably fuck off.”

    Come on Kensei – they would be burned out.

  • Cromwell

    Well said Briso.

    This is all getting very tiresome.

    ONE person, not persons, held 5 fingers up outside the bookies on the Ormeau, & he wasnt/ never was, a member of any Lodge.

    The reason some Orangemen were involved in rioting was that the police turned a water cannon on them without warning as they were handing a letter of protest in.

    If bands are carrying banners commemorating CONVICTED murderers they should, & have in some cases, been excluded from Orange parades.
    If they are doing it in their own parades there aint much the OO can do about it.

    What really grates here is Republicans gurning about the OO & asking it to do something they never would.
    Lets not forget, Chris Donnelly is a member of Sinn Fein, the IRAs political wing, the IRA was a sectarian murder gang. For him to criticise the OO for any reason is ridiculous in the extreme.
    I’d really like to question his motives as far as Stoneyford is concerned, is it to be the next Torrens, or the attempt at Cluan Place?

  • PeaceandJustice

    I think it’s a bit rich for Sinn Fein IRA supporters on here to keep going on about a very small minority of the Orange Order yet fail to even acknowledge the murder, torture and ethnic cleansing carried out by their terrorist group who are now in power in Stormont.

    Perhaps they are hoping to divert attention from their hate crimes.

    DJK – “in my memory the greatest act of violence ever carried out in Stoneyford was the brutal murder of Adrian McGovern, a catholic father of five young children. He was slaughtered in front of his children by the PIRA. He was a lorry driver and committed the heinious crime of delivering building materials to a police station.”

    Although Chris Donnelly says “If you’re holding out for a sackcloth moment, good luck” will he apologise for the hurt and violence caused by his organisation in Stoneyford? What about the children of Adrian McGovern? Are they just victims of ‘war’? Yet, ask Chris Donnelly about Pat Finucane and you’ll probably get 10 threads in a week. Is the family of Pat Finucane more important than the family of Adrian McGovern?

    http://www.factni.co.uk/adrainmcgovern.htm
    “The children were crying. I said ‘where is your mummy’ and they said ‘mummy is at work’. The little boy had called the ambulance and I called the police. The children were repeatedly saying’ daddy was shot’.

    Are you going to justify this murder Chris Donnelly?

  • Billy

    Cromwell

    “ONE person, not persons, held 5 fingers up outside the bookies on the Ormeau, & he wasnt/ never was, a member of any Lodge.

    The reason some Orangemen were involved in rioting was that the police turned a water cannon on them without warning as they were handing a letter of protest in.

    If bands are carrying banners commemorating CONVICTED murderers they should, & have in some cases, been excluded from Orange parades.
    If they are doing it in their own parades there aint much the OO can do about it.”

    This person can clearly be seen in an OO collar, walking in a parade with other OO members – the other OO members are calmly watching him and not attempting to intervene. If someone who wasn’t a member had joined a parade uninvited and then acted in this offensive/provocative manner – I would have thought that the genuine members might have done something about it.

    That must have been some watercannon – it seems to have provoked thousands of OO memebers in various locations all over NI over a number of years.

    It’s only CONVICTED murderers is it? Brian Robinson wasn’t actually convicted – possibly due to the fact that he was killed in a shootout with the Army as he tried to escape after murdering an innocent Catholic man so that’s all right then is it?

    I don’t care if there isn’t much “that the OO can do about it”. That’s their problem. If the OO is incapable of stopping their lodges from parading with banners/bands commemorating “loyalist” terrorists then why should Catholics tolerate these terrorist sympathisers parading through their neighbourhoods?

    As I said the ball is in the OO court. NO-ONE of any religion should have to tolerate parades in their neighbourhood commemorating terrorists that have murdered people in their community.

    If the OO can remove the offensive/thuggish element and all the disgusting “loyalist” terrorist regalia, then compromise can and should be reached on the few contentious parades.

    However, until the OO makes REAL efforts to do this, they have no right to inflict this disgusting behaviour on communities where they are not welcome.

    It’s up to them.

  • doug

    DJK pretty much sums up the situation in stoneyford.

    Why does the orange order allow this to happen ?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Perhaps “Billy” would also like to comment on the murder of Adrian McGovern by Sinn Fein IRA in Stoneyford. You know, the party that is now in Government in Stormont. It would make a change from his usual rants.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “DJK pretty much sums up the situation in stoneyford.

    Why does the orange order allow this to happen ?”

    DJK’s post is indeed a fair one, and since I don’t know the area, I presume it to be accurate. The Orange don’t allow anything to happen. It’s a separate band, doing its own (apparently nasty) thing. Should the parade be banned? Probably. Let’s hope the Parades Commission and PSNI do what’s necessary to stop decent people being intimidated in their homes in Stoneyford, or anywhere else for that matter.

    I remember in my home town about 20 years ago the 11th night was marked by a gather up of men at chucking out time in the pubs, who were not orangemen, but many were in bands. They went through the town in the wee small hours drumming and fluting, and generally pestering the people. The police clamped down on it- brought in the riot squad one year, cracked a few skulls. The Orange leadership were asked to use their influence by local people. They organised an official parade at 8 o’clock in the town centre , took the crowds to a field on the outskirts of town, gave them a bonfire ( no tyres!), firework display and bbq. They were thanked by the police, and privately by prominent RC businesmen. They still do. Perhaps they shouldn’t bother. How long before the bad old custom rears its ugly head?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “SHANKILL BUTCHER and OO MEMBER Eddie McIlwaine”

    I don’t know if billy is a Sinn Fein supporter, but if he is,as I suspect, he’ll presumably support their demand for the criminal records of terrorists to be expunged.
    He’ll have supported the court case taken by an ex-IRA member in Newry who said he was discriminated against when he wasn’t given a job by the Simon community because of his past.
    He’ll presumably believe that people who did things in the past and went to jail have paid their debt to society and should be integrated into society when they’re released.
    He’ll recognise that some terrorists can change- look at Sean O’Callaghan.

    Consistency means the same standards apply to this individual

    See, I have a simpler position. You’re a convicted killer, you get strung up.
    Brian Robinson just avoided due process.

  • Cromwell

    Yes Billy,

    I see youve finally moved from the plural to the singular when it comes to the alledged OO person on the Ormeau.

    I wonder what the shutter speed on that camera was since the way you describe it sounds like a movie, “OO members are calmly watching him & not attempting to intervene” so you were there Billy, or you have the most amazing powers of perception, you can tell what happens in the split second it takes for a photograph?

    In your perception, should catholics tolerate republicans marching through their areas, since they are murderers of their own people ( more than anyone else) & you claim to condemn them all?

  • lib2016

    People shouldn’t walk where they are not wanted – period! The fact is that most people in Ireland are republicans and most republicans in Northern Ireland support Sinn Fein.

    Playing with words simply makes the sectarian nature of your post more evident than it need be. The Orange Order have done more to destroy the credibility of unionism than any republican could ever have dreamed of doing. They are a large part of the reason why the British Conservative Party can no longer play the Orange card. It would simply give the Conservatives a bad name.

  • Cruimh

    “most republicans in Northern Ireland support Sinn Fein.”

    If that is the case lib there are only 300,000 odd republicans in NI.

  • frank

    “SHANKILL BUTCHER and OO MEMBER Eddie McIlwaine”

    darth

    The difference is that Eddie McIlwaine believes he has the right to march past & through areas were his victims live.

    McIlwaine has no right to put on his sash while carry his orange order paramilitary banner & expect to be welcomed in communities who suffered under his cut throat gang.

    What he does in his own time is his business but i’m sure being part of the uvf orange lodge keeps him busy at this time of year and then there’s the orange order/uvf/Brian Robinson parade to arrange for September.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Finally, some sensible posts from the unionist fraternity here, including good points.

    The comparison between Stoneyford’s problems and parading in other villages/ towns which have changed demographically is instructive.

    Take the south-west Antrim area. Orange parading continues in Glenavy and Crumlin- both overwhelmingly nationalist villages- without significant opposition from local nationalists today, though that wasn’t always the case.

    During the late 1990s/ early 2000s, loyalists conducted a campaign against catholics from Stoneyford, Glenavy and Crumlin and surrounding areas, including the murder of Ciaran Heffron, attempted murder of several others, repeated firebombing of catholic public houses and churches and lower level intimidation which led to many fleeing their homes.

    During this period, most notably at the height of the Drumcree protests, there was a nationalist reaction against loyalist parading in these areas.

    Now, skip forward five years, and parading is generally accepted by nationalists, as many of the loyalist troublemakers have seemingly given up their campaign.

    It is a perfect example of how positive leadership by unionist/ Orange figures can alleviate tensions around the ‘Marching season’- the Rev Brian Kennaway’s influence in the case of Crumlin is a case in point.

    Incidentally, in his book, ‘A Tradition Betrayed,’ the Rev Kennaway describes an Orange march in Crumlin being hijacked by Harbinson’s crew in less than endearing terms.

    That’s not to say tensions aren’t very far from the surface. In the village of Crumlin, a loyalist band from the surrounding areas attempted to hold a mass band parade last Autumn, including the Stoneyford band in their application.

    The village shopowners- catholic and protestant- petitioned the Parades Commission against the march, and many unionists made their feelings known that such a parade would only set back community relations in the village by years.

    The parade was restricted, the band cancelled it and the local lodge continues to parade unhindered and respected as an integral part of the local community.

    Now, returning to Stoneyford, I simply can’t understand how anyone could defend the Stoneyford application on grounds of respecting the pre-existing demographics of the village when the areas where the band are now seeking to parade were green fields in ‘the good ol’ days!’

    Is it not slightly suspect that, of all the housing developments the band chooses to parade through, they just happen to select the newest two developments, inhabited by a substantial number of catholics?

  • Billy

    Peace and Justice

    I have always unresevedly condemned ALL violence from all sides – unlike you!!. I must thank you for giving me a good laugh – being accused or “rants” by you (nothing is ever the Unionists fault) is a classic.

    Darth

    If you care to look, I have stated clearly in many of my posts that I am NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN a Sinn Fein member, voter or supporter.

    As a matter of fact, I do not support convicted terrorists (of any organisation) having their records expunged.

    I merely pointed out that a CONVICTED member of one of the most notorious “loyalist” murder gangs is an active member of the OO and annually carries an OO banner commemorating ANOTHER “loyalist” sectarian murderer. When there were complaints about this in 2005, the OO gave assurances that this banner wouldn’t be allowed again in an OO parade. Less than 10 weeks later, it was paraded again carried by the same terrorist and again last year.

    Whatever way that you cut it, the OO can make whatever verbal promises it likes. However, evidence like this makes it so easy to dismantle the “arguments” from people who claim that the OO has no links with “loyalist” terrorists or their supporters.

  • PeaceandJustice

    lib2016 – “people shouldn’t walk where they are not wanted – period!”
    The problem happens when a few Republicans move into an area and then demand no more parades as it’s a ‘mixed’ area. They want local minority rule! In Eire, Protestants had to keep their head down and weren’t allowed to express their culture – otherwise violence was used against them.

    If a Protestant was to buy some houses on the Falls Road, would Sinn Fein IRA stop all their Republican parades as it would then be a mixed area? Or would they just use intimidation and violence? Me thinks the latter.

    Frank, lib2016, Billy – This thread was started by Sinn Fein IRA supporter Chris Donnelly who has make allegations about what’s happening in Stoneyford. I’ll ask you all the same question as I asked him – was the Sinn Fein IRA murder of Adrian McGovern in Stoneyford justified? That was a much more significant event than what Chris Donnelly is talking about. Especially as the group involved is now in Government in Belfast.

  • Billy

    PeaceandJustice

    “was the Sinn Fein IRA murder of Adrian McGovern in Stoneyford justified?”

    How can I make this any clearer – NO!

    I did say “I have always unresevedly condemned ALL violence from all sides” which is a position that I have held to consistently.

    Nor do I support any organisations carrying banners and/or accompanied by bands commemorating terrorists marching through neighbourhoods where their presence is offensive/provocative to the vast majority of residents.

    That’s where we differ.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “darth

    The difference is that Eddie McIlwaine believes he has the right to march past & through areas were his victims live.

    McIlwaine has no right to put on his sash while carry his orange order paramilitary banner & expect to be welcomed in communities who suffered under his cut throat gang.”

    But you see that’s where you fall down. You focus on what he does, not what he is/was. I asked you exactly what the role of ex(?) paramilitaries should be in society, and all you gave me the whole “themmuns shouldn’t be in our area” stuff.

    So where are paramilitary connected themmuns to go?

    Don’t you see your complaint about victims seeing the killer on the street and being offended (entirely fair point)equally applies to victims seeing Martin McGuinness or Gerry Kelly oepning a school in their area, or attending some function?

    Yet noone- except Continuity Rejectionist Unionists like Jim Allister and myself – seems too bothered about what the Provo ministers did. We’ll be told to move on,no doubt lead by Captain Sanctimonious- the noble Lord Eames- and Dennis Bradley. So why get hung up on a paramilitary doing what normal people do- would you have apoplexy if a prominent IRA member turned out for the Derry GAA team on Sunday? How many prods would start screaming that this was unacceptable, and the GAA should root out these people whose appearance on tv would cause offence to their victims?

    ” What he does in his own time is his business”
    Er… whose time was he on then? Is this not his own business. You can’t even get your rant straight

    Parity of contempt please

  • PeaceandJustice

    Earlier in this thread I asked Sinn Fein IRA supporter Chris Donnelly if he was going to justify the murder of Adrian McGovern – a crime carried out by his group Sinn Fein IRA. Silence from Chris Donnelly on that despite his great interest on what else happens in Stoneyford. That says everything.

  • Roger

    I think that this post in general has shown Chris Donnelly up to be a rather dark and nasty individual whos narrow political agenda is towards all things green.

    I have yet to see slugger attempt to combat this offensive thread with somethings positive from the orange tradition.

    I do admit that Orangeism does needs better leadership at the top, I feel Saulters has done all he can and has steered the organisation through a tough and uncertain time and done a rather good job as well. Now however is the time for a younger leader, someone who can help weed out paramilitary trappings from the organisation, help develop the female lodges and ignite a recruitment drive. I genuinely believe the order has a future in NI and nothing Chris Donnelly says or does is going to change that.

  • lib2016

    Peace and justice,

    Sorry, I missed your earlier request that I condemn IRA violence, in particular a murder in Stoneyford. I don’t know the facts in that specific case but I have no problem in condemning all ‘political’ violence from all sides. Hope that satisfies.

    Please note that my support for Sinn Fein is very much conditional on their support for the Peace Process. I believe that is true for most of their supporters.

    Roger,

    You admit that the Order needs decent (new) leadership. Perhaps you could give us all some examples of news of change in the Order’s attitudes which has not been acknowledged on Slugger? Certainly the situation in Derry where the Loyal Orders have engaged in dialogue has been acknowledged often.

    It seems to me that part of the problem is the fact that we don’t see many defenders of pragmatic unionism here. In fact unionism seems to allow it’s most extreme adherents to post unchallenged rather than engage in open debate. The fear of being called a ‘Lundy’ seems all-pervasive.

  • DJK

    lib2016

    “we don’t see many defenders of pragmatic unionism here. In fact unionism seems to allow it’s most extreme adherents to post unchallenged rather than engage in open debate”

    I would challenge that asertion. I am happy to defend pragmatic unionism. I have often done so.

    An interesting link between this thread and another on a resigning DUP councillor, Cecil Calvert, relates to the Adrian McGovern murder. Cecil’s wife was the first on the scene.

  • lib2016

    DJK,

    You’re an exception and all the more welcome for that. There are a few moderates but when the headbangers come onsite they tend to vanish. Where’s Beano now that his little friends from Love Ulster have appeared again?

    He’ll never be called a wimp but at least he does have some moderation.

  • Roger

    Hi Lib

    I do feel that the order has changed in some way in order to meet with this new era we are in.

    For example it has engaged in communications with some resident groups in order to try and find accomdation to parading disuputes. However it should be recognised that some resident group have not exactly covered themselves in glory by having ira terrorists are their spokes personell.

    It is currently addressing the problems relating to alchol abuse especially during orange parades and it is trying to encourage pubs to be more socially responsible.

    I think the updating of its rules to ban convicted/known paedophiles from being members of the organisation is a good move.

    The twelfth is being marketed as a more family orientated event by the order and the inclusion of bouncey castles and face paintings etc at fields etc is a good move in my opinion.

    I would however like more done to rid out the paramilitary element within the order, it is very small but it nevertheless does need to be removed.

    I would also like the female lodges given more recognition and it may not be a bad move to have a female member as a leading member of the organisation, I am also in favour of Lord Laird having an active role in the organisation although I am aware that he has health issues at this moment in time.

    Lib you may not like my views as I would be considered a right wing Unionist however I make no apologies for my views.

  • Prince Eoghan

    How about ‘Confronting the elephant’ though Roger? Can we not tackle the overt aggressive anti-Catholic ethos that upsets a whole section of the community?

  • Roger

    overt aggressive anti-Catholic ethos that upsets a whole section of the community

    Could you specify what this is please?

  • lib2016

    Jumping up and down to signify the death of someone’s loved one at the hands of an Orange mob might be one sign of it. You really sure you want to go on with this, Roger?

    Now ‘bouncing castles’ and a ‘more family orientated event’ won’t do much about that unless you propose inviting Catholic families to be part of the celebrations. Maybe having representatives from the Catholic and other communities on the platform might be a sign of real movement but there isn’t any chance of that, is there?

  • Prince Eoghan

    LOL

    Seriously Roger where have you been? The threads are full of it this past week! Have you never ever noticed by word or action anything overtly anti-Catholic about the OO? really?

    Ok I’ll give you one that’s not been on these threads. Where do you stand on allowing members to attend mass, say for funerals or joyfull occasions such as Communions or weddings?

  • Roger

    I am completely in favour of that, I can see no problem with that to be honest, whats your next issue?

  • Prince Eoghan

    You are in a minority albeit a welcome one Roger. It is the policy of the OO to bar members from attending mass, and since we are talking about overt anti-Catholicism in the OO…. well? your opinion is important, but not as important as the organisation you seek to defend.

    >>whats your next issue?<< Deal with this one first, then just read over about half a dozen threads over the last week there is plenty. Unless that is you just can't see elephants?

  • Roger

    Prince

    I like the way you have constructed your arguements but a lot of things said in this thread have been fabricated nonsense designed to discredit the organisation.

    Regarding the point you raised I don’t think many within the organisation would hold it against members attending a funeral mass for a friend of theirs.

  • lib2016

    ‘a lot of things..fabricated nonsense designed to discredit the organisation’

    Please specify, even just half a dozen examples would be fine.

  • Roger

    Membership at 15,000
    Order due to end in 2016
    Unproven events of paramilitary activity at orange events.
    Slating Fermanaghs 12th which has always been very peaceful and enjoyable.
    One member called the parades dull and mundane even though he then admitted never having attended one.
    Claims that the order membership is dwindling all the time.

    Theres your half a dozen examples.

  • Prince Eoghan

    No offence Roger but you seem to fritter around highlighting the unimportant stuff. Your 5.29 and 6.40 being prime examples. The elephant in the corner continues to shit everywhere and it stinks. I’d like to hope you mean well, but failing to address the main problem is criminally negligent, in relation to the anti-Catholicism the rest is just fluff.

    >>Regarding the point you raised I don’t think many within the organisation would hold it against members attending a funeral mass for a friend of theirs.<< This may be so as I know a few that do attend mass for other events. A start in the right direction may well be getting it off the books, don't you agree?

  • Pounder

    Roger I hate to break it to you but the OO membership [i]is[/i] dwindling just go to the 12th and count members, the order [i]is[/i] sectarian in that members are taught to specifically treat catholics different (not standing as godfather of a catholic) and the bands with the OO [i]are[/i] mostly paramilitary, UVF flags do still get flown by bands and the 36th Ulster Division is just an excuse.

  • Realist

    Prince Eoghan,

    I think you may be dealing with some of the issues we have been discussing on another thread here.

    “This may be so as I know a few that do attend mass for other events. A start in the right direction may well be getting it off the books, don’t you agree?”

    I would absolutely agree with you on this point.

    I want my civil and religious liberty to attend the weddings and funeral masses of my Catholic friends and colleagues, and hence could not be a member of the OO.

    Playing devils advocate tho, can you understand that Orangemen do not attend such services on account of the fact that the Catholic church considers them “in mortal sin” for simply being Protestant, ie. for rejecting “the one true religion”?

    You’re suggesting they go places where their religious beliefs are vilified as being not true?

  • Frank Sinistra

    I see Unionists have held an illegal parade in Stoneyford:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6243690.stm

    Surely a good enough reason for Harbison (UUP) and his band to be barred from any further parades in the village.

  • Pablo

    …apparently an elephant never changes its spots. Hopefully we’ll see some prosecutions for this ‘parade’. Not holding my breath though.

  • frank

    A clear loyalist attempt at mass intmidation of the Catholic community in Stoneyford.

    Fair play to Chris for highlighting the situation in Stoneyford & tonight shows that the paramilitaries are alive & active within that community.

    I wonder were they wearing their sashes this evening, i doubt it some how.

  • TAFKABO

    Can anyone point to concrete examples of the Orange order enforcing rules prohibiting members attending events in catholic churches?

    I know of some very public events where leading unionist and members of the orange order attended funerals in a catholic church, with no comeback whatsoever.

    I also know that the catholic church has a strict policy on sharing communion with non catholics and can give examples of the church hierarchy issuing stern warnings to catholics who did so.

    But hey, maybe that’s the real elephant we’re not supposed to talk about.

  • frank

    Orange Order Grand Master Bobby Saulters isn’t too keen on the taigs

    His description of Tony Blair (the turncoat’) when he became prime minister

    ” has already sold his birthright by marrying a Romanist. He would sell his soul to the devil himself. He is not loyal to his religion. He is a turncoat ”

    When Orangeman & DUP Councillor Roy Gillespie was asked if he would show support to the family of murdered Ballymena teenager Michael McIlveen he said

    “I won’t be going to the funeral. Stepping foot in a Catholic church is against my religious beliefs, The Pope is the Antichrist and is the head of the Catholic church, which is not a true church or faith. I’m not going to listen to Mass in a Catholic church. I don’t care if it’s at a funeral, wedding or whatever else.”

    He added: “As a Catholic, he [Michael McIlveen] won’t get into heaven unless he has been saved. If he did not repent before he died and asked the Lord into his heart, he will not get into heaven. Catholics are not accepted into heaven.”

    To be honest i don’t think many members of today’s order attend Protestant services never mind Catholic ones.