Condemnation follows bonfire mockery of dead catholic teen

There has been condemnation following the revelation that loyalists erected a placard with the name of a recently deceased 16 year old catholic boy atop an 11th Night bonfire in Coleraine. After personally removing the sectarian item, the father of the child has been informed by the PSNI that loyalist paramilitaries have threatened to target him. The incident comes as bonfires across the north were lit adorned with pictures of Sinn Fein members, Irish national flags and ‘KAT’ placards. Last year, there was condemnation following the erection of placards on 11th night bonfires mocking the sectarian killing of a catholic boy in Ballymena.

  • PAUL

    Yeah this is the new NI. Yeah it´s a great wee place just like it was before the Troubles.

    Sectarian dump more like

  • Sean

    The “quality Democrats” at it again I see

  • Cruimh

    Outrageous and disgusting behaviour.

  • joeCanuck

    What a brave father to remove this awful insult to his loved son.

  • Glensman

    True Cruimh,

    But Always happens at one or more of the bonfires.

  • jason

    …and the Lord Mayor of Belfast tells us that Catholics and ethnic minorities will be welcomed to this “Orangfest”! One day maybe but not any time soon!

  • GavBelfast

    It’s just appalling – depraved, ignorant and heartless behaviour.

  • Pilib

    Just listened to Dave Dunseith interviewing the father of that wee boy Aaron. Paul’s a bit too pessimistic – much has changed here over the last 40 years – 3,500 lives lost through sectarian violence notwithstanding. The Orange ‘culture’ is a very strange phenomenon. It appears to permit, on 12 July each year, the law to be mocked and broken on the basis that for the police to enforce the law would cause a ‘breach of the peace’ and/or law breaking on a more serious level. Most of us keep our heads down and stay away from the ‘brethren’ as they parade up and down the main throughfares to the tune of the flute and the drum. That’s what I do – always have done. Life begins again later today when the Orange – drunk, dead drunk and primly sober – return to their homes and it’s over for another year. What might ever be done about it to convert it into a Festival / Carnival is not immediately obvious to me. Closed minds that encapsulate philosophical certainty – such as ‘Islamist’ bigots and ‘Real IRA’ – have much in common with the Orange: they are right, they’ll kill you if necessary to enforce their point of view and you are wrong. Shades of Mussolini, Hitler and Mao.

  • Blood Orange

    Sure, what’s new?

    “Wednesday 8 July 1992
    There were heated exchanges between local residents and Orange Order members taking part in a parade through the mainly Catholic lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. Orange Order members shouted “Up the UFF” and held up one of their hands showing five fingers – a reference to the shooting dead of five Catholic civilians in a Bookmaker’s shop on the lower Ormeau Road. The parade went right past the site of the shooting. [Later Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the actions of the marchers “would have disgraced a tribe of cannibals”.]”

  • DC

    Out of such shared poisonous grounds…???

    A nice reminder from one ethnic nationalist over the dangers steming from tribal gatherings of an ‘other’ ethno-national group.

    As far as I can muster it seems to be two sides of one coin, it’s just some have varying degrees of poisonous potency at times.

  • Dewi

    “What a brave father to remove this awful insult to his loved son”

    I’ll second that Joe

  • JUAN

    Rotten Bastards, the father is a hero and the headcases in cloeraine should be sectioned, what the hell possessed these dickheads ? we, as the loyalist community need to get right in their faces and tell them loud and clear that they are morons and need to shut up.

    print pictures of all adult bonfire makers, their security and their addresses and let people express their disgust in person.

    again i and im sure the rest of us normal prods are so so sorry to this poor man,

    and another gift to the chris donnellys of the world.

    please remeber these people are distinct and dysfunctional. the best thing e could do is put on our sashes and trag the dirty fuckers to this poor mans door to apologise.

    rotten rotten bastards.

    its in no way comparible but its taken the shine right off my day.

    i feel disgraced and am so sorry.

  • The Huns have been at this for hundreds of years. The 1920 expulsions, the Roaring Hanna pogroms, all helped along by the 12th. It is Western Europe’s biggest fascist fest. They have been stopped in Drumcree and Lr Ormeau. They should be stopped everywhere. Make the Orange Order illegal along with its sister outfits.

  • BogExile

    How can you rationalise this sort of behaviour? It’s grotesque. If I’d been standing beside that boy’s Dad, as an Ulster Protestant Unionist, actually as a fellow human being, I hope I would have had the courage to go up there with him and help him rip down that revolting placard.

  • Rapunsel

    Just listened to the interview on Talkback and am nearly lost for words. Funny thing is its hardly unexpected. I’m not a Sinn Fein voter but had to agree with Alex Maskey when he said that anything goes on the 11th and 12th of July and people can act with impunity. If the Orange Order wants their annual festivities to be seen as a cultural celebration then the anything goes culture has to be stopped, it seems there are positive moves being made on this and I have heard about efforts in East Belfast around drinking but statutory bodies are pussyfooting around on the issue. The parades are never going to become a cross commmunity event where everyone is welcome and I don;t think they even should but surely it is essential that those of us not participating in these events can go about our business in advance of and after the 12th with minimal disruption?

    No flags or emblems to be burned on bonfires
    No flags to be erected on public property without prior consent( two UVF flags remain on display on DOE property in Ballynahinch as I speak, why have the DOE /PSNI not removed them?
    No marches without proper consent
    No drinking on the street in line with bye laws
    No tyres on bonfires and prosecution for those companies to where the tyres can be traced
    Bonfires only on council licensed sites

  • DC

    “Make the Orange Order illegal along with its sister outfits.”

    Hear, Hear. Inflated loyalism to the point of neither propagating Protestantism nor reflecting anything to do with British civilisation or civic responsibility.

    The OO should move to defunct itself.

    In terms of rationalisation, it’s very hard to do especially when raised on Slugger recently about the Drumcree standoff and all the horrible consequences arising out of that.


  • jpeters


    dont agree im afraid, i hate the sight of an OO parade makes me feel very threatened especially when i see friends marching (feels like a conspiracy against me!)but i know its a knee jerk reaction on my part

    we have to face the facts most Orangemen dont cause trouble, march were they are not wanted, or cause civil disturbances, on that basis alone the OO has as much right to exist as any other organisation.

    It needs major surgery not a lethal injection

  • BogExile

    The Orange Order isn’t defunct. It will never truly be defunct while there remains an active perception of threat to the Union from within and without. But that’s for another argument.

    I want them to be able to protest within the law, policed by the law which applies to all of us. I hate the fact that the law seems so intimidated in the face of naked sectarianism (or for than matter environmental vandalism). I do understand the logic the argument from the police (as a special constable in England) that sometimes intervening to prevent as breach of the peace is the wrong thing to do if it will cause an even greater problem.

    But surely we have to have some perspective here. The sort of attendant anti-social behaviour on 11th July would simply not be tolerated ‘across the water’ and would be dealt with immediately and robustly – certainly what is described at this bonfire would be treated and investigated as a hate crime.

    All the major parties accept and have signed up to the criminal justice system in NI. They in turn must accept that loyalist (and republican) parades/festivals cannot be above the law and the days of passive policing in this respect are dead and buried.

  • CTN

    Most of these “hero’s” haven’t worked a day in their lives, others are kids committing acts for attention within their own estates.

    Something must be done about those tyres- Maskey is right about the impunity factor in that regard…

  • Ian

    No mention of the Coleraine incident on the BBC website. I can’t believe the DUP claim that the Beeb hold a pro-Republican bias when every year they paint such a rosy picture of the 12th.

  • Pounder

    The actions of apparent loyalista where a disgrace. The real shame is that despite the fact it was a very vocal minority that took part in that incident all protestants get tarred with that brush.

    As for the Orange Order itself, I think that given a few years it will be a very diferent organisation. more like the masonic in that while they have the meetings and regalia they’ll not actually parade as much. My theory is that in 15 years on the 12th a bunch of old men will get togeather, put on the collarettes and have a formal dinner. Everyone knows that it only the Troubles that have kept the OO in business and brought them recruits. The Nationalist strategy should be to ignore them where possible and let their momentium fade away.

  • Mauds gone

    As a nationalist I’m not really concerned that narrow minded pigs disrespect and burn my flag. I’m not even overly concerned that pictures of republican politicians are being burned. These things are disgusting, and hateful but we’ve endured a lot more hardship than that and come out the other side.
    However, to attempt to burn a picture of a dead child is evil. There is no other word for it. Pure, undiluted evil. Would these pricks burn a picture of James Bolger? Would they burn a picture of Madeline McCann? You bet they would! If the kids in question were Catholic and Irish. Absolutely disgusting. They should be put on top of the fire themselves.
    I feel very sorry for the Protestant community though. How awful to be considered part of this fiasco. I would ask all right thinking members of the Protestant/Unionist community and all members of the OO to refuse to join in any further parades or demonstrations until those responsible have been brought to task. There is no point giving lip service to your disgust, it’s time to act on it.

  • Mauds gone

    Wow Pounder,

    I think you’re right! Lets allow this biggoted hatred and evil to continue. Let’s give them pictures of murdered Catholic children and a box of matches. Yeah, if we allow this “expression of culture ” (the culture of laughing about dead children) to go on unabated, it’ll do the world of good for the situation. Good thinkin’!


  • DC

    “I want them to be able to protest within the law, policed by the law which applies to all of us. I hate the fact that the law seems so intimidated in the face of naked sectarianism (or for than matter environmental vandalism).”

    Well to see where I am coming from first of all, I don’t have much time for concentrated groups of people setting out to stake claim to land like a bailiff moves to claim property.

    Therefore, the whole 1690 battle is deeply irrelevant especially in a modern Europe with mass-movement of people across borders who move across with varying degrees of loyalty. Land is for eveyones use.

    So on that note, I appreciate the liberal argument that the OO should be able to walk and residents should be able protest too, but then on the 11th Night some people are protesting and celebrating at the same time around a bonfire.

    As we have seen and heard they are obviously protesting their intolerance to those ethnic others who share Northern Ireland’s land, yet celebrating when there symbols of that intolerance goes up in smoke. A pagan-like ritual paving way for a religious display of Protestant grandeur.

    As you can see the two don’t add up but the argument will not be won within the OO – I would like it banned because of the contradictions with its philosophy and the practicalities; however, it would only be manipulated by the Unionists still in control with access to press/media, and many more deaths would likely follow.

    The key is to garner political support for a move to bring further enforcement into play without repercussions but to do so we need a new political direction from those looking for a new Northern Ireland, away from unionism and its sectarian strangle hold on it constituents.

  • Mayoman

    Can anyone tell me how many people attended this bonfire? Who attends? A minisule collection of numbskulls or a cross-section of the local populace, families with kids in tow? Surely the best way to have shown revulsion for this and similar acts is for noone to attend?

  • Dewi

    “How can you rationalise this sort of behaviour? It’s grotesque. If I’d been standing beside that boy’s Dad, as an Ulster Protestant Unionist, actually as a fellow human being, I hope I would have had the courage to go up there with him and help him rip down that revolting placard.”

    Did anyone help him anyone know – I hope to God they did.

  • Frank Sinistra

    No the scumbags issued him with a death threat and the Unionist community started raving about the Pope and whatabout the IRA.

  • Frank Sinistra
  • Realist

    “I’m not really concerned that narrow minded pigs disrespect and burn my flag”

    They burn the orange bit too.

    About as clever as those who claim to uphold your flag and set out to burn orange halls.

  • jp

    there needs to be appointed a bonfire coordinator for each site who would then be responsible for regulating the things burnt on the bofire (the tyres etc.) and would be liable for prosecution for things like this.

    again its distasteful and these people deserve nothing less than a toe up the arse, but incorporation will be the best way to silence them and to bring the bonfires up to the expected standards of a modern society.

    nationalists seeking to apply corporate responsibility to the entire orange fraternity for occurances like this is ridiculous and hypocritical, given the individualist explanations used to dismiss natioanist transgressions.

  • Frank Sinistra

    And yet more on Orange culture:

    Ror paramilitary involvement to end it had to be there in the first place.

  • European Bob

    I’d agree totally with Rapunsel, the solution seems obvious, apply the laws of the land.

    As someone who has never gone to a bonfire (seems like I’ve been missing out) they appear to be completely unregulated. This seems majorly out of line with the rest of the UK.

    No way could you have a public gathering of tens or hundreds of people, major bonfire in a public or even private place, fireworks without a license from local Council, any incidents, license revoked.

    What about police presence? how many coppers are on duty at a bonfire? There are plenty of laws and by laws that could be used to deal with the scum elements at bonfires. Seems they are not being applied for whatever reason. Man puts up secterian offensive flag, bobby takes down said flag, any trouble, no more bonfire.

    Is there any direct connection between the bonfires and the OO, or is it purely a “cultural” thing.

  • Dewi

    Chris – isn’t it time to review abstentionism from Westminster – this type of stuff needs highlighting throghout the Islands and Nationalist co-operation could be useful in facilitating constitutional development……accept that there’s some history involved.

  • Comrade Stalin

    At risk of sounding like a broken record, this incident only further shows that the Orange Order and unionist politicians need to confront the culture of illegality and hate that is associated with the Twelfth. At the moment they are ignoring it.

    They cannot pretend that they are law-abiding, or merely celebrating a tradition and culture, if they do not lift a finger to stop people who insist on degenerating into animals around this time of year.

    Realist, burning Orange Halls is a hate crime in my book (along with burning flags, or burning pictures of politicians) and I’d be overjoyed if I heard the people caught doing it went down for a couple of years of jail time. However, burning a picture of a recently deceased civilian child is on a completely different level. It’s just sick.

  • gpeb

    The bonfire in harpurs hill was built by a load of local kids. The flag that was torn down made mention of two people from the town. it said “1. Fleming , 2. Neill , Who’s next?” As a bit of coincidence the rumour is the fleming fella who was mentioned was actually murdered in the flat of the dad of the young fella Neill, apparently he’s got bulletproof glass and a steel door on his flat cos the flemings are after him. That’s what I’ve heard through the rumour mill tho and it could well be wrong. Anyways afaik there’s been a lot of fighting going on around the town between the wains from there and the young fella who died and his mates. Fair play to the da for going across and taking it down, the flag itself was totally abhorrent. It just goes to show how a bunch of kids with a sick idea can create a real fecking shitstorm.

  • Ice-9

    Utterly despicable – I really hope the father here makes full use of the media to exploit this for all its worth. For too long now incidents like this (and last year’s equally if not more revolting burning of effigies of that poor boy in Ballymena) have had a blind eye turned to them. I mean not even in some of the more savage parts of Africa would such things go unpunished! What the Hell has gone wrong here?

    I agree with all previous comments that bonfies should be council approved and supervised. No licence – no bonfire, bonfire fails to comply with criteria? no bonfire. Any offensive effies or flags? no bonfire and we’ll see you in court.

    We have turned a blind eye to bad behaviour for long enough. It won’t go away by itself, it will instead prosper and grow as it reaches out with its scaley tentacles to see how far it can reach unchallenged.

    Something has got to give here. Do we actually have law and order any more? Very frightening.

  • agree with all previous comments that bonfies should be council approved and supervised

    Despite the recent propaganda to the contrary, it’s the same old DUP with the same old attitudes who reign supreme in many parts of NI and more importantly, are in charge in of several councils. Do you really expect them to start getting pro-active all of the sudden with the type of people who have been their cannonfodder/most loyal electorate over many years?

    And for those who think the DUP would hold no sway with these self same people, why do you think we’ve had no Big Ians adorning the top of the bonfires this year, despite him performing the kind of U-turns that would have had even Lundy spinning in his grave?

    It’s in the DUPes interest to keep this kind of scum onside at the minute, you never know when they might need them next.

  • The Third Policeman

    Can you imagine if it was GAA ‘culture’ to burn a Union Jack before every match?! Or a picture of the queen?! Or the names of local dead Protestants!? Jaysus imagine the backlash. There’d be calls to have their funding and BBC coverage removed. Laws would be inforced then believe you me.

    Isn’t it time to end these ridiculous bonfires? The beacon idea at Lisburn is great I think. Why not a truely family affair with a BBQ and firework show. I really think that this would be a great idea. It would probably even get a few nationalists out as well. Who doesn’t like a good BBQ? Of course I’d imagine the problem is that the type of fellas who organise the bonfires don’t want this sort of atmosphere, they just wanna get airbagged on Strongbow and see the green, white and orange go up in red.

  • Liam

    Animals, that’s just pure evil. It annoys me too that the rule of law is put on hold every 12th of July and people can burn tires on bonfires. The emergency services should come in and extinguish any such fires and if there is a riot then bring in the riot police because it is a disgrace the way the law is flagrantly being ignored and nothing is being done about it out of fear.
    I try to approach the marches with an open mind and I respect the cultural traditions of the Protestant community but instances like this and the use of paramilitary flags just spoils it and makes a lot of nationalists doubt this new image the OO are trying to create.

  • Harry Flashman

    **Would these pricks burn a picture of James Bolger? Would they burn a picture of Madeline McCann? You bet they would! If the kids in question were Catholic and Irish.**

    A propos of nothing at all, but given their names and home town I think you could say both of those children were Catholic and Irish.

  • poodler

    “Would these pricks burn a picture of James Bolger? Would they burn a picture of Madeline McCann?”


    But its a protestant cultural thing.


    your n.i supporters have yet again shown their bigotry by flying ‘our wee cuntry’ flags in areas of South Belfast in an attempt to intimidate catholic residents.

    its difficult to airbrush sectarianism when it is flying alongside the murderers of countless hundreds of catholic civilians.

    The only difference between the ‘new’ support & the old support is 20 years of inbred sectarianism.

  • Sean

    harry youre a dumb fuck

  • Kevster

    As regards burning things, I think flag-burning is a grunt in the context of political speech, but it is political speech. People might not like what is being said, and it isn’t being stated very eloquently, but as long as they aren’t burning a flag I paid for, let the idiots burn it and reveal their hatred, ugly as it is.

    Burning politicians in effigy, I’d say the same.

    But the ghoulish lunacy of painting the lad’s name in foot-high letters and putting it atop a bonfire staggers my understanding. So does the crowd of people doing nothing to stop it.

    Ignorant, stupid, amoral miscreants, the lot of them.

  • POL

    it would probably even get a few nationalists out as well. Who doesn’t like a good BBQ?

    Problem is however that the catholic would probably be on the barbecue.

  • Such an engaging and wonderfully colourful pageant.
    I am amazed that anyone would be in any way offended by the entriely authentic expression of this culture.

    Bragging about dead taigs and how they got dead is an integral part of Orange culture.

    people should learn to be more tolerant and stay quiet at the back of the bus.

    Remember the liberties and freedoms that King Billy won for us!

  • POL that is a cruel barb to inflict on a fine cultural organisation………….

  • PeaceandJustice

    The problem I have with thread is that it was started by Chris Donnelly – Sinn Fein IRA supporter – and someone who has failed to condemn murders committed by SF IRA. Yet he is very quick to post anything negative about Loyalism.

    I believe that bonfires should be a celebration of our culture and of course such displays on bonfires are wrong. There are elements within both communities which don’t show respect.

    Chris Donnelly does not use bonfires to express his hatred. He does that very well using the written word.

  • Sean


    Does ya want cheddar or stilton cheese with your wine/whine

    only a few sparse few want to deny you the expresion of your “culture” the rest just want you to exercise the expresion of your “culture” with a little restraint and class. though to be honest as long as the celebration is driven by the blue bag brigade i fail to see how it could possibly be classy

    Almost no one has said you can not march the only thing they have said is you can not march where you are not wanted. Perfectly reasonable condition in the real world

    No one has said you can not dance around a fire like a bunch of drunken pagans, they have said you should not be dancing around a fire made of tyres. This again would seem perfectly reasonable especially considering the the people who actually live with the fires have said they want them controlled. Imagine that people who actually live next to the fires wanting them controlled? maybe you can have their protestant membership canceled for being to complicit with the fenians

  • Bemused

    Utterly outrageous and disgusting stuff. Would be interesting to hear what Fair Deal has to say about his brethern’s action/inaction in this situation……..