Confronting the Elephant- Part 2

Following on from the initial post highlighting the practice of some loyalist bands/ Loyal Orders in planning controversial marches, the focus of this post is on the practice of erecting flags and bunting in mixed residential/ commercial areas- a practice which, like clockwork, rears its head round about this time of year and leads to floods of complaints to news desks, PSNI stations and the Talkback switchboard- traditionally to no avail. Only this year, there’s a positive episode (above link) which could be the first indication that some are beginning to appreciate how detrimental the practice is to community relations during the Summer period.Finaghy, like so many other areas of the six counties, is a demographically mixed community, which has had its share of sectarian incidents in the past. However, the establishment of a local cross-community group, the Finaghy Crossroads Group, has created the channel through which nationalist and unionist political representatives have engaged to defuse tensions arising from the siting of flags in the area in the past week.
Of course, some will maintain that objecting to the display of flags and banners reveals an intolerance in itself, though maintaining that view might become more difficult if it meant having to endure the display of flags from ‘the other tradition’ outside your own door on an annual basis.
But what do you think?

  • Mummys Boy

    the flag of the country is the Union Flag, let it fly!

  • Pete Baker

    “the channel through which ‘nationalist’ and ‘unionist’ political representatives have engaged to defuse tensions” [added emphasis etc]..

    ..can also be viewed here.

  • qubol

    Pete, its probably also worth re-reading Middle Class Taigs post (no.1) on that particular thread.

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed, qubol.

    Apart from not contracting the view that these are not political representatives..

    I see MCT also ridicules the idea that Lord Eames has a role to play.. a point I agree on.

  • qubol

    Pete: Apart from not contracting the view that these are not political representatives..

    It depends what you mean by political representative. Political representatives don’t have to be councillors, MLA’s MP’s or MEP’s. In this sense they are members of parties and represent a particular constituency. Indeed, Stiofán Long has stood for election and narrowly missing out on a seat in the 2005 council elections. In most places membership of community organisations provide a useful way for people to get elected in the future.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I had copied some text from the newspaper report to paste in here, but I can’t, the whole damn thing is what I mean.

    It is republican triumphalism “themmuns tried to do something WE don’t like, so WE complained and WE won”. The article is written to play up the role of SF and portray an ideological supremacy of their argument. Like Alex Kane argued in his column last week, it is SF hijacking the shared future project to get one over on the other lot whilst somehow sounding reasonable.

    Bunting and flags, usually during the summer, is normal all over the world. Go to Canada or the USA during late June or early July and you’ll see the place covered in respective flags and bunting, adds a bit of colour. In many instances I have no doubt that in Northern Ireland it is done to stoke up tension and portray dominance, but it only works when it is allowed to, and SF and the SDLP constantly trying to out do each other in the MOPE stakes just makes the problem perpetuate. Calling a drawing of an IKEA store a glorified Orange Hall, thats not leadership or responsible politics, thats sectarian oneupmanship and its sickening. If SF want the problem to go away, then they need to SHUT UP, at which point those interested in gaining a reaction will get bored, and we’ll be left with a genuinely enjoyable celebration of culture and heritage.

  • Pete Baker

    “It depends what you mean by political representative.”

    Indeed.

    I look forward to the day that Jackie McDonald stands for election..

  • Michael Shilliday

    My 12:24 should have ended, “unless the don’t actually want the problem to go away………”

  • ciaran

    michael, it is groups like sinn fein who can speak out against the bunting and flags where the peolpe are afraid to. I dislike seeing these displays but if I complain I am inviting a smack in the mouth at least, so I can ask my elected politicans to sort it out for me, and they do.Why can the order not enjoy their culture without rubbing everyone else’s noses in it with their unwanted bunting and marches where they are not appreciated.

  • Dawkins

    Ciaran,

    “Why can the order not enjoy their culture without rubbing everyone else’s noses in it…”

    Silly question. Rubbing everyone else’s noses in it an intrinsic part of their culture.

  • kensei

    A number of things fall out of this. Bullet points as I should be in bed.

    1. We should totally ignore Michael as doing nothing never has and never will solve these kinds of problems.

    2. We need to better respect each others symbols – and if unionism won’t respect ours, republicanism should be generous in respecting theirs anyway.

    3. There is a real issue with timing, however. Glengormley is already covered in flags and they will stay there until they are ragged and dying, probably. That fucking stupid arch will go up and stay up long past the twelfth too. A reasonable request would be to restrict it to a sensible time frame.

    4. Flags and bunting can be used to mark out territory. There needs to be some sort of dialogue to mitigate this a bit, or welcome in outsiders. That also requires some change on the part of the people welcoming.

    5. There is a real issue with equality of symbols. Happy to live with the place being covered in Union Jacks over the twelfth, if people don’t bitch when I want a tricolour on St Patrick’s Day. And before the tedious argument over St Patrick’s Day representing everyone, even those who never bothered until they saw a parade they could stop – it does represent me, which the point.

  • PeaceandJustice

    From the Part 1 thread: “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?”

    Chris Donnelly is once again trying to stir things up. In his Part 1 thread, he was critical of the Orange Order in Stoneyford but was silent when asked to comment on the murder of Roman Catholic Adrian McGovern by his group – Sinn Fein IRA.

    The Northern Ireland and Union flags are the flags of the country. This thread is irrelevant – especially from someone more interested in causing division than peace.

  • Harry Flashman

    I loathe the whole flag hanging thing, I have no objection on particular occasions people celebrating their culture by hanging out bunting or decorating their streets, but once the celebration is over the flags come down, you don’t keep your Christmas tree up in February! One of the most dreary sights I remember from my time working in the Bogside was the sight of tattered old tricolours affixed with masking tape the previous August fluttering forlornly in the November wind.

    Simple good manners also dictates that you don’t hang your bunting where people don’t want it, no, don’t say “Ach sure what’s the harm?” If your neighbours don’t want the damned stuff then don’t hang it up, it really is that simple.

    I am forever being told that Orangemen are decent Christian people, I am sure they are, well decent Christian people don’t gratuitously insult their neighbours. If you’re living in an area where a sizable proportion of the population are offended by this stuff then no matter how inoffensive you might find it knock it off! Stick it out your bedroom window if you want but don’t plaster it over lamp posts that have been paid for by the people who find it offensive.

    This is so simple that it shouldn’t need emphasising in a normal society. In the country where I currently reside it is perfectly acceptable to sacrifice goats in the public square in Eid al-Haj, indeed it’s considered a great festive occasion, guess what, it ain’t acceptable in Strabane. Equally, running around the streets on a Friday night blind drunk, vomitting, swearing and dropping your trousers seems to be pefectly acceptable in Strabane but would be regarded as taboo here.

    Not complicated folks, decency, common sense, simple good manners, respect your neighbours, anything else need sorted?

  • Sean

    Michael Shiliday I find your representation of Canada as awash in bunting at the end of june begining of July as both self serving and insulting. Canada is awash in Bunting because July 1st is Canada day our day of National Independance. You are a total dumb ass to equAte one with the other. You are sectarian bigot with absolutely no morals or sense of proportion.

    To equate orange order triumphalism with Canada day is an insult to every Canadian and you are an ass

  • Billy

    Sean

    Spot on. The attempt to equate the celebrations for Canada Day (or the 4th of July in the US) with the 12th of July in NI is as you say “self service and insulting”.

    These National days are countrywide celebrations that are open to all and not designed to offend anyone.

    The 12th of July is a commemoration for one side of the NI community. I have no issue with that as such. However, there are many OO members and supporters who just see it as an opportunity to demonstrate OO triumphalism and intimidate/provoke Catholics to try to make them feel like 2nd class citizens.

    There is NO WAY that the 12th of July will ever have the universal respect and acceptance of a Canada Day or a 4th of July. It is, indeed, an isult to compare them.

  • I’m not sure that perceiving the Orange Order celebrations as uniformly “triumphalist”, and repeating the claim incessantly, necessarily makes it true that all Orange celebrations are in fact triumphalist.

    Some are, some aren’t at all, and some are probably a bit of a mixture.

    But you could probably say the same to a lesser or greater extent about the national celebrations of most nations or ethnic groups. Consider songs like Deutschland ueber Alles, Rule Britannia, or the somewhat belligerent anthem of the Irish Republic, for example.

    Can nobody see any irony in the apparent determination of some to take offence at orange symbolism, while being happy to give offence by tarring the whole orange order as sectarian, hate-filled neanderthals?

    Figures in Sinn Fein occasionally warn unionists against demonising their “enemy”. It’s actually not bad advice!

  • Billy, the 12th of July is more complex than you seem to think.

    It is not purely about “catholics” versus “protestants” – after all, the Pope of the day celebrated the victory of William over James, for reasons of broader European politics.

    Nor is it just about events in Ireland – you can also see it as part of the constitutional development of the UK, in which the absolutist “Divine Right” Stuart monarchy was replaced by a “constitutional monarchy”, under William and Mary.

    We don’t have to abandon it to those (on either side) who would distort it into a celebration of sectarianism. It’s not just negative – Civil and Religious liberties (however slowly they were implemented) are a worthy ideal!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Michael

    So the answer is do nothing and hope for the best? Kinda explains the plight of the Ulster Unionist Party, doesn’t it….

    Comparisons between the Loyalist 12th July celebrations and those like Independence Day in US/ Canada or even Bastille Day in France fall at the first hurdle- the latter celebrations are universally (or as universally as can be expected) enjoyed within those states- the 12th July is most certainly not.

    Suggesting that we just accept flags and bunting as ‘spricing up’ the place may seem innocent enough, but once again I pose the question: would those endorsing this view so quickly welcome as a ‘harmless celebration of colour and culture’ the display of flags and bunting associated with the republican tradition here in the very same mixed communities?

    Oh, and Michael, if promoting parity of esteem/ equality is not a part of the ‘shared future,’ then those espousing the latter will not get very far.

    PJ
    Glad to see you’re still with us- I thought you’d imploded with rage following my first thread. I realise you’re on a learning curve, but perhaps soon you’ll learn to address the substantive topic of a thread.

    For the record, I don’t believe any one person’s life is/ was more important or valuable than anothers; and I think you’ll also find I haven’t initiated a solitary post on the death of Pat Finucane- never mind ’10 in a week’…..

  • darth rumsfeld

    let’s save time and cut to “The elephant in the room, part 762”.
    In Sinn Fein cyber HQ the bright young bloggers are under orders from Gerry to come up with as many whatabouteries as they can (without mentioning their new friends in the DUP in any derogatory fashion whatsoever, natch!) Yound Donnelly hands a crumpled bookies docket to the author never formerly known as Brownie; he reads it, and with a curt nod the beast is released into webworld

    So children

    Proestants have all the best land to this day because of Cromwell, and until they apologise and hand it back then they deserve all they get. That Bob Mugabe had the right idea etc

    Discuss

    Cos for all that mick has said on other threads the correct approach to this immature whining
    is to rebut it, I’ve lost any enthusiasm for trying to plug these people into planet reality.So Ok, notheing was ever your fault.Ever. Now will you please just SHUT UP?

  • Comrade Stalin

    qubol:

    It depends what you mean by political representative. Political representatives don’t have to be councillors, MLA’s MP’s or MEP’s.

    Qubol – I quite agree. Decisions should generally be taken by people who are not elected, who receive no visible public support, and whose presence has a lot to do with their relationship with other people who possess guns. After all they are the people best qualified to know the best interests of the community. That’s the way we did things back in the good old days in the CCCP. Sigh, how I miss it.

  • Michael Shilliday

    If there is one thing Canada Day is not, it is a celebration of independence. It is a celebration of the day on which the provinces of British North America united into the Dominion of Canada in 1867 – independence for Canada came in 1982.

    To answer your question Chris, it really depends. Nationalist MOPERY at the moment on this issue will be met with a similar attitude. But in the event of a more tolerant attitude I am certain that it will be reciprocated. Yes I think the Orange needs to do more about those out to cause trouble, but Nationalists don’t do themselves any favors in many instances (read Andytown News story).

  • Realist

    “Can nobody see any irony in the apparent determination of some to take offence at orange symbolism, while being happy to give offence by tarring the whole orange order as sectarian, hate-filled neanderthals?”

    The national flag to which republicans claim allegiance contains orange symbolism – on an equal footing to “green” symbolism.

    They profess to cherish ALL the children of the nation equally.

    In their quest to “unify” Ireland, they set about demonising the very people they claim they wish to be “united” with – because they are different to them.

    Not a smart play, but one where the cosmetic surgery has came into play in an attempt to appear “reasonable” – “Reaching out to Unionism”, I think the “project” is called?

    When the new mask slips, you see the naked intolerance towards the orange tradition represented on their flag.

    Something quite ironic hearing someone shout “dirty orange bastards” whilst clutching the national flag of the Irish Republic.

    Way to go lads.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Just read Alex Kane’s column where her asks “what is Sinn Fein without the catalogue of grievances to be addressed?”

    Quite.

  • call of nature

    I’m coming at this from a slightly different angle. I’m a prod who lives in east Belfast. Not a million miles from the Holywood road/Pims Ave. Anyway, responding to a call of nature in the wee hours last week I watched a small group of men move down my street attaching flags to every lamp-post and electrical mast they could find. I have a couple of observations:

    1) Why did the flag fairies feel the need to decorate my street at 1am?

    2) Never mind mixed areas: you can count the number of houses flying flags in the 6/7 streets around Pims Ave on one hand. I have no problem with individual people decorating their homes to celebrate their culture, but what gives the flag men the right to impose their celebration on me and my neighbours?

    3) I’m fully aware of the history of the UVF, but it’s hard to feel like the UVF flag at the bottom of my street is not a paramilitary flag.

    4) I agree with the various comments about the dodgy comparison with Canada – but go easy on wee Michael, in their desperation/love for Nth America the flag fairies included the flags of the state of Texas and Canada so you can understand his confusion.

  • Aquifer

    Flags are signs advertising a particular political position. The problem is that both the predominant political positions are associated with violence, so the flying of flags is itself oppressive.

    If we cannot ban them all, bring them within planning legislation like other signs, and grant them a temporary time limited permission. That way the primacy of democracy and the rule of law is asserted over tribal and territorial intimidation.

    We could also get rid of those rotting union jacks all over the place.

  • Cruimh

    I’d have more sympathy for Chris if he also addressed the compulsion shown by his lot to display their flag and to use every opportunity to indulge in similar behaviour – such as spraying “Brits out” on walls, Ogra SF vandalising post boxes with bilious and non-inclusive green paint and the gratuitous use of mangled Irish so as to irritate.

    Ban paramilitary flags – for sure – and that includes the Tricolour.

  • Cromwell

    Sean,

    “to equate orange order triumphalism to Canada Day is an insult to every Canadian & you are an ass”.

    Who, pray tell, Sean, do you think you are speaking for when you say “EVERY Canadian”?
    Certainly not me.
    Seems Micheal pointed out who the real ass is Sean.

    It would seem the real Elephant around here is the Elephant in Chris Donnellys wallet, ie. his Sinn Fein membership card & the assorted trappings of fascism, bigotry & intolerance it brings with it, imagine anyone who owns one of those complaining about anyone else, doing anything!

  • kensei

    “Ban paramilitary flags – for sure – and that includes the Tricolour.”

    I assume you also accept the Union Jack is therefore a paramilitary flag?

  • Dan

    Only the most pedantic moron would claim Canada gained independence in 1982.

  • Pounder

    The fact remains that the largest 12th of July demonstration in the world exists in Canada. Why? Because the Canadian Order actually made the day fun and more of a carnival. The 12th here is just an excuse for a bunch of tards to get beered up and maybe get into a fight.

  • Michael Shilliday

    So you think Canada was independent BEFORE it had the power to amend its own Constitution? And I’m the moron?

  • 4: Statute of Westminster 1931 anyone?

    how detrimental the practice is to community relations during the Summer period.

    Jesus, you couldn’t get any more community-industry managerialist crapspeak in there if you tried. “During the Summer period”? Why not just “in summer”? Surely if it’s detrimental to community relations (s/b “offensive”/”rude”/”insulting” anyway) the season is irrelevant?

  • Sean

    Michael well technically the queen still had dominion over Canada the last time she tried to use her representative to over ride the wishes of the Canadian people he was road out of town on a rail and shipped home on the next boat

    If that aint independant what is?

  • RSR

    Chris,

    You’re forgetting that the unionist community isn’t the only community to put up flags and bunting. Round easter time we see many places cluttered with tricolours etc, and not just the nationalist areas, many mixed areas have tricolours erected in them as well.

    Just accept that it happens on both sides and that it is a part of both unionist and nationalist cultures and stop f***ing complaining about it!

  • important-aside

    Chris, justy to correct you on one point. Canada Day is not universally accepted and celebrated throughout Canada. I lived in Montreal, Quebec for a while and throughout Quevbec Canada day is barely celebrated at all, instead there is a big fuss made over St Jean Baptiste day. Maybe the Canada Day analogy is a lot closer to our own siturtion than you think.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I spent Canada Day of 2004 in downtown Toronto, and it did strike me as similar to the 12th.

  • Dan

    I did say PEDANTIC.

    Canada has had *de facto* independence for quite some time.

    important-aside,

    Not really. Unless there have been a bunch of flag burnings and paramilitary shows of strength in Canada that I’ve missed. Those who don’t celebrate it…don’t celebrate it. No fuss.

  • important-aside

    You are correct only in as much as protest has been muted for quite a while but there are Quebec nationalists who have engaged in those very tactics, even to the point of mounting a bombing campaign in the 1970s, (though being much more civilised over there when real people were hurt/killed by this campaign it was quickly dropped).

    Another interesting parallel is that in Canada, national law requires that roadsigns etc. are displayed in both English and French, however in Quebec they feel quite happy to flout this law and provide french only. Canadians generally are much more sensible in their response to this though and they don’t have any equivalent of the “themuns did that so we must do this” response.

  • pondersomething

    Michael well technically the queen still had dominion over Canada the last time she tried to use her representative to over ride the wishes of the Canadian people he was road out of town on a rail and shipped home on the next boat

    ———

    When was that Sean? I can’t recall an incident like that with any Canadian governor general but then I prob dont know my Canadian history as well as I ought to.

    But I can’t really recall a sort of Canadian version of the Gough Whitlam affair in Australia.

    As for independence, as with any country that has pursued the evolutionary path its difficult to actually pinpoint an exact date – Canadians do celebrate Canada Day to mark Confederation in 1867 however.

    You could also make a case for 1919 when Canada signed the Versailles Treaty separately in its own right, or the Statute of Westminster in 1931 or the more constitutionally precise amongst us could plump for repatriation of the Constitution in 1982!

    I think most Canadians would probably say 1867, whilst recognising 1982 (Repatriation + Charter of Rights and Freedoms) as an important date also.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Chris Donnelly – “For the record, I don’t believe any one person’s life is/ was more important or valuable than anothers”
    Well that’s good news. So you would agree with enquiries into all the Protestants and RCs murdered by your colleagues in the Sinn Fein IRA death squads? It’s called justice.

    By the way, are you getting paid by Sinn Fein IRA to post this stuff to stir up division? Seems like that. The posts are complete non-issues. Get your own Sinn Fein IRA house of horrors in order and then start posting again.

  • Mayoman

    P&J: “The posts are complete non-issues. Get your own Sinn Fein IRA house of horrors in order and then start posting again.”

    Funnily enough P&J, some of us just want to hear two sides of a story!

  • kensei

    “So you would agree with enquiries into all the Protestants and RCs murdered by your colleagues in the Sinn Fein IRA death squads? It’s called justice.”

    What do you expect these enquiries to tell you? The IRA killed people? Who is this enquiry going to call, that will testify about anything that happened? Really?

  • joeCanuck

    “The fact remains that the largest 12th of July demonstration in the world exists in Canada”

    This is utter b.s.
    The Orange Order, although important in the early days of Confederation, is now almost non-existent in Ontario.
    The 12th this year is being celebrated on the 7th and the 11th night is being celebrated on the 13th.
    There will be no parade in Toronto, but there will be one in Orillia, about an hours drive to the north.
    Members in Toronto are encouraged to go to Orillia and a bus is being provided.
    There might be a few hundred people who attend.

  • I Wonder

    “What do you expect these enquiries to tell you? The IRA killed people?”

    Exactly. Where there are enquiries, its because those who did the killing denied that they did it or had only had a derisory “enquiry” previously.

    Those critical of the cost of Saville (leaving aside, of course, the morality of a British State agency killing civilians on the streets of a British city) should reflect on how relatively little it would have cost to have told the truth the first time around.

  • Sean

    When was that Sean? I can’t recall an incident like that with any Canadian governor general but then I prob dont know my Canadian history as well as I ought to.

    My remembery is not as good as it used to be and I am far too busy too look it up but I do know he was the last english Gvernor General we ever had and every one since then has been a Canadian

    That should make it easier to find on google

  • Sean

    Most Canadians, I believe, would say that Canada became a country in 1867 and became a nation on the bloody fields of WWI

  • young fella

    This post suffers a lot from the fact it comes from a Republican so its far too easy for for puerile tit for tat BS from other commentators, somehow leading to completely incongruous links to Canadian Independance, that well known centuries old protracted violent fratricidal struggle.

    Bunting is not so much an issue as the yobs that the marches can attract. I could easily live with Orange marches and Union Jacks around in the summer if I didn’t specifically associate them with pompous inconsideration for many of the inhabitants of my city,followed by a trail of drunken loyalist leaving the place a shit-hole.
    But given that I’m from Derry, that is exactly the impression that I’m left with.

    Most years of my younger life my parents took me too my aunties in Coleraine or Limavady or Omagh (obviously delete applicably the one that has a parade) to avoid the fact the most of the town closed because the only places to see business on a day like that are W.G.s off-license and the Tavern Bar. Not to mention the distinctly ominous atmosphere I have to encounter if I walk to a friends house (obviously I can’t get a bus because the march has most of the Derry road network blocked off).

    It may be hard for Unionist commenters to listen to Donnelly talk about an “elephant in the room” but there clearly is if I’m not anti-British/Protestant/Orange and am still getting taunted walking through my littered,gridlocked town with all its business’ closed and getting called a “wee fenian f**ker”.

  • PeaceandJustice

    kensei – “What do you expect these enquiries to tell you? The IRA killed people? Who is this enquiry going to call, that will testify about anything that happened?”

    Let’s look at the Londonderry bloody Sunday inquiry. They have used virtual reality technology to recreate the city and to help witnesses remember more clearly. So this could also be used to recreate other situations where Sinn Fein IRA death squads were involved.

    Now I recently heard Martin McG say that everyone deserves justice. So any refusal to attend would tell us the real attitude of SF IRA to justice for Unionists.

    The main point is, why should we keep hearing about ‘state violence’ when the DFM belongs to a group who murdered people. Can’t Republicans see that Unionists want justice too? Or perhaps it’s not convenient for them to acknowledge it as they think they’ve literally got away with murder.

  • Sean

    youve had justice or atleast the appearance of justice slanted your way for 80 years

    Why can you not see that there is a real and disgusting difference between private individuals murdering people and governments killing their own people

    murder is never right but government murder is particularily abhorent as they control the levers of security

    The government is charged with protecting all its citizens not just those citizens that agree with its agenda

  • Michael Shilliday

    The last GG not to be Canadian was Earl Alexander who was so popular he had his term in office specially extended Sean.

  • frank

    ‘This thread is irrelevant’

    p&j

    It may become irrelevant when the order accepts that while it celebrates and welcomes mass murderers within its ranks, they will not be welcome to coat-trail through the communities where they slaughtered in the past.

    Maybe if the order or black institution addressed cases such as that of Melville Matthews from Antrim, they might be taken seriously.

    Matthews had his assets frozen by the ARA 18 months ago because he was laudering money and racketeering with the uvf/rhc. Action taken by the orders, none.

    Is it because he wears a sash & is a master in the black institution that he is still welcome, and does the terrorist association not matter ?

    At least that would explain the glorification of the murderers within the organisation & the refusal to take action against those convicted of sectarian murder in the past.

  • Billy

    JoeCanuck

    Thanks for your post about the 12th celebrations in Canada – very informative.

    I was aware that the 00 perpetuate “myths” about their support throughout the world. However, I wasn’t aware of the exact situation in Canada as I have only been there once for a brief holiday.

    I lived in London for many years and the vast majority of people didn’t know or care what the OO was. The 12th of July is just a normal day there – I certainly never saw any parades or even 1 bar that had anything signifying the 12th.

    Once the TV coverage of Drumcree came along – people became aware of what it was along with it’s links with “loyalist” terrorism, drunken rioting etc. My English friends/colleagues were sickened by the violence and couldn’t believe that an anachronism like the OO existed in this day and age. Apart from the “loyalist” terrorist element, they found it hilarious and I remember there were quite a few comedy sketches on TV mocking the OO.

    Outside Scotland + NI, the OO has a minimal presence in Liverpool and that’s it for the UK. Even the Liverpool element is fading (particularly since “Loyalist” terrorist arms were found stored in a Liverpool Orange hall).

    The OO like to perpetuate the myth that they are “big” in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Due to the nature of my career, I am fortunate enough to have lived for some time in all of these countries (currently in Aus). I’m here to tell you that there are certainly no parades of any size here in Aus or NZ – the 12th of July came and went like any other day – nothing was mentioned in the news or media and 99.9% of people wouldn’t know or care what the OO is.

    When I lived in New York and then Washington, again I never saw any media coverage of any OO parades and people wouldn’t know or care about the OO or the 12th of July.

    There are major St Patrick’s day parades in all of these cities. Indeed, it is hard to go find a bar in any of them that isn’t decked out in green on St Patrick’s day.

    The OO attempts at positive PR have been laughable. Their inability and/or reluctance to take any action with regard to the links with “loyalist” terrorism makes it easy to expose them – as does their inability to find any “spokesmen” of any calibre.

    The “myth” of their supposed worldwide support may be believed by their members (choosing to ignore the facts as they often do). However, anyone who has actually travelled to these cities can see the difference between the OO spin and the reality.

  • Sean

    You know thinking back on it I think I once seen an OO parade in my humble little town of 40 thousand.
    I remember seeing about 20 senior citizens shuffling down the road and it could be wishfull thinking but I think they were wearing orange sashes and boler hats
    There were no spectators just thes 20 or so old men shuffling along at high speed down the street. I remember thinking it looked like a parade but as I hadnt heard there was a parade I just kind of filed it under odd expieriences and forgot about it.
    The funniest thing was it looked like they were all huddling together for protection and looked more like a roman legion in defensive position then a parade. Of course this being Canada they were probably loooking for protection against the traffic then rocks hurled by the local disgruntled youth.

    I will have to have a closer look this July 12th maybe I can see the mighty OO in action lol except probably half those old guys are dead it was 10 years ago

  • PeaceandJustice

    Billy – “Outside Scotland + NI, the OO has a minimal presence in Liverpool and that’s it for the UK.”
    Sorry to disappoint you but there are Orange lodges across England.

    Good to see you back to your usual sectarian rant!

    frank – “It may become irrelevant when the order accepts that while it celebrates and welcomes mass murderers within its ranks, they will not be welcome to coat-trail through the communities where they slaughtered in the past.”

    Should Unionist communities accept Sinn Fein IRA ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive visiting their areas? Communities where SF IRA have slaughtered in the past.

    You then go on to make accusations about a particular person. Are you related to Chris Donnelly by any chance? Or do you both just belong to the Sinn Fein IRA group?

  • frank

    p&j

    ‘You then go on to make accusations about a particular person’

    I suggest you contact UTV’s insight programme if you have concerns about senior black institution member, master Matthew’s.

    Sovereign grand master of the black, Billy Logan made a complete arse of himself when he tried to tell lies over the continued involvment of the paramilitary blackmailer in the institution.

    Perhaps Billy should read his own mission statement ‘in order to maintain, and enhance greater and higher standards of Justice, Truth, Honesty, and Integrity in both private and public life.’

    A bit like the orange order in that the rules do not apply to loylaist paramilitaries

    http://www.octf.gov.uk/index.cfm/section/News/page/details/key/Assetsofparamilitaryloansharkfrozen/?month=12&year=2005

  • Billy

    PeaceandJustice

    Being accused of a “sectarian rant” by you is such a classic – I love it.

    It’s so obvious from your rants that the “PeaceandJustice” you refer to is the pre 1968 variety when the taigs knew their place and we had the good old Protestant state for a Protestant people.

    Incidentally, I didn’t say that there were no OO lodges in England. I said that the only place they have any (dwindling) meaningful presence is Liverpool. Having travelled the length and breadth of England in my career, I can safely say that the numbers of OO members in England would be laughable. Almost every town in NI has an Orange Hall – quite the reverse in the UK – you’d have a hard job finding one unless you knew where it was in advance.

    In most places, the local WI or rotary club would have more members and more influence on the local community than the OO (assuming there was one – which there isn’t more often than not).

    If it’s so popular in England (as you ludicrously claim) – how come the vast majority of people had never heard of it pre-Drumcree? All the news programs had to explain to their viewers what it was (many still do). I wasn’t in London for the recent OO parade but I still have relatives and many friends/collegaues there. It didn’t warrant a mention on the news and didn’t exactly bring central London to a standstill (as so many other marches have)did it?.

    England is largely a secular country – most people don’t give a damn about religion and fewer give a shit about NI. They don’t understand and when they hear your accent, they just take you as Irish (they are not interested in Protestant or Catholic). As the reaction to the first Drumcree showed, the public were sickened by the actions of the OO “loyalist” terrorist supporters and found the institution itself an anachronism. Hence, the popularity at the time of sketches in comedy shows lampooning the OO.

    As I said, the only place that the OO can bring out any sort of numbers to parade is NI + Scotland. You can rant all you want but the FACTS speak for themselves.

  • Harry Flashman

    Of course if you are an Irish Republican Sean you never conceded that the victims of “the government” were ever in fact the ‘own people’ of the British government.

    So whilst it would be legitimate for the victims’ families or for British people to demand “the government” hold enquiries into state sanctioned crimes, for Irish Republicans, who fought a thirty year war against the concept that people in the six counties were ‘citizens’ of the UK government, to do so rather smacks of hypocrisy!

  • Sean

    No Harry its the British who claim them as citizens whether they choose to be or not so my statement stands

    2nd if you were paying attention at all you would know I am Canadian, albeit whith many a tie back to ireland,Scotland, Wales and England

  • Irish Prod

    Driving through Lisburn today on my way to the airport my mother and I burst out laughing at the sight of pirate flags flying alongside Union Jacks and “NI” flags.

    Why oh why?

    Someone please shed some light on this! I know that these erectors of flags are thugs, but pirates? Are loyalists celebrating the release of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 ? Ooh arr, shiver me timbers!

  • PeaceandJustice

    Billy – There seems little point in having debates with you. You are sectarian to the core. Maybe you’ll get invited by Sinn Fein IRA to be part of their Unionist Outreach – you meet the criteria.

  • Sean

    Maybe they are adherents of the relatively new religion of Pastafarianism

    Believers such as myself believe global warming is tied to the reduction in the number of Pirates

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastafarianism

  • Billy

    PeaceandJustice

    “Billy – There seems little point in having debates with you. You are sectarian to the core. Maybe you’ll get invited by Sinn Fein IRA to be part of their Unionist Outreach – you meet the criteria.”

    My initial post dealt with the influence of the OO (or lack of it) in the counties in which I have lived – your response – 1 “fact” (with NO supporting evidence) and accusing me of a “sectarian rant”.

    Intellectual debate of the highest calibre!

    My second post dealt with the 1 “fact” that was included in your post.

    Your response – dealing with none of the issues and calling me “sectarian to the core” – a real laugh since I am happily married to an English Protestant.

    You could always have tried to rebut my points with reasoned argument and any FACTS (if you had any) to disprove my points. Instead both your “points” were just blatent insults aimed at me.

    I don’t pretend to be the best debater in the world but at least I can make a coherent point without resorting to insults. I certainly don’t need any lessons in debate from someone like you although, if I ever need any tips in lowering the “debate” to crude sectarian name-calling, I’ll definitely give you a call.

    BTW, I have never been a Sinn Fein member, voter or supporter, When I lived in NI, I was an SDLP supporter as were all my family.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Billy – “When I lived in NI,I was an SDLP supporter”

    You must have been from the Brian Feeney wing of the party. When you calm yourself down and are able to have a balanced debate, let me know.

  • offline

    In the Republic it was bonfires night when this article appeared. The christians took the idea from pagans.

    In NI the Christian Orange Order is followed by pagans who offer yellow liquid to appease their deity.

    Well done NI for having the pagans steal from the Christians.

  • veloso

    Irish Prod said (at 02.41):

    Driving through Lisburn today on my way to the airport my mother and I burst out laughing at the sight of pirate flags flying alongside Union Jacks and “NI” flags.

    Why oh why?

    Someone please shed some light on this!

    See the thread Pirates of the Midly Insane.

  • Cruimh

    part 3 should be a cracker – poor Chris must be devastated that the Springfield road parade passed off peacefully.

    http://breaking.tcm.ie/ireland/mhkfqlkfcwoj/

  • torrens

    I hope part 3 mentions the number of orange lodges using paramilitary bands in todays parade.

    Be honest, just call it a uvf parade.

  • Cruimh

    Even if they were ALL paramilitary bands, the fact that it went off peacefully suggests that the deciding factor isn’t the OO or the bands – but whether or not the republicans want to riot.

    Well done SF if they HAVE called off the dogs – and I mean that. It will make a huge impact and certainly would explain Mac Cionnaith quitting in a huff.

  • Frank Sinistra

    I think you’ll find the last time there was trouble at the Whiterock parade it was coming from the ‘Orange’ side, cost £3 million and involved shooting at the police. All in the name of the Orange.

  • torrens

    ‘Even if they were ALL paramilitary bands, the fact that it went off peacefully suggests that the deciding factor isn’t the OO or the bands – but whether or not the republicans want to riot.’

    Were you on holiday in June 05 🙂

    What a bizarre statement considering the mindless violence of the orange order and loyalism a couple of years ago.

    I see that numbers were down today on recent years.. no fun when you can’t get through the gates to coat trail & wave uvf banners !

  • Cruimh

    Torrens – the numbers will continue to fall because of the republicans good behaviour. The loyalist riff raff will only go if trouble is expected.

  • Frank Sinistra

    So those Republicans made the poor Loyalists fire automatic weapons at the police and riot?

    The poor wee oppressed lambs.

    If only those Republicans had been quiet they wouldn’t have needed to cause £3 million worth of bedlum, riot and shoot at people.

  • Cruimh

    Frank – the attendance of ‘people’ like Mad Dog was a response to Adams Adare Strategy.

  • Frank Sinistra

    That’s what I said. People like you will blame Loyalist riots and shooting at the police in support of the Orange Order on Republicans.

    It was Adams’ fault you say.

    I’m sure the UVF/UDA and Orange Order appreciate your justification of their unprovoked actions in 2005.

    Gerry Adams made me shoot at those cops your honour.

    LOL.

  • Cruimh

    facts are facts Frank – the Adare strategy was Adams’ last desperate throw of the dice . It failed to provoke civil war, Thank God.

  • Turgon

    Cruimh,

    Adare strategy? Please explain

  • Sean

    crumb bum do you actually think about that crap before you post it or do you have to hold your nose till you hit the post button to keep yourself from regurgitating from smelling the crap

  • Sean

    turgon surely as an oo stooge you must have been told that it was the IRA that made adare stand beside the oo in rioting against the catholics. Surely to sugest anything else might bring the oo into disrepute for actively supporting terrorists