Fair Deal’s Twelfth

This started as a short reply to merrie’s query about how my day went but somehow kept growing.I kissed my wife goodbye responding to her gentle chides to drop-out/get in car/rest if my legs/feet get sore with the non-commital ahah and walked down to Sandy Row Orange Hall.

For the first time in a few years the Lodge has decided to take the large banner out. Two young eager volunteers saying they would carry it the entire way. So there is much fiddling with poles, ropes, orange lillies, cable ties and banner straps.

During the mandatory standing about I catch up with two lodge members who live in Dubai but come back every year. Then the “Fat Controller” aka Chief Marshall wanders round the corner and barks out his orders to get the banners on the road and five minutes later we head off. In addition to our members we have four visiting brethren from Scotland and three children with us, two sons and one daughter of lodge members.

We fell in behind a lodge led by a Scottish band and just behind us a band from Ballymena. The band strikes up and the walk has started. First order of business, help dip the banner at the war memorial beside the community centre, then fall back in line. We head towards the city centre and then a short delay (don’t know why and after a number of parades you stop asking). Beside us there are a bunch of excited Chinese tourists so we pose for photos with them and let them wear a collarette (shush don’t tell Grand Lodge technically we’re not supposed to do that).

Then straight on through the city centre. Try to keep in step behind my WM but he has a rhythm and timing all his own so give up by the time we pass City Hall. Plenty of what look like tourists snapping away and on round to Clifton Street for the gathering of the Lodges.

We arrive round in Denmark Street and wait for the start of the parade. Our district is near the front so not too long to wait. The clouds look ominous but two of the older members start waxing lyrical about how if you can see the Belfast hills clearly it won’t rain. The hills are clear. A few minutes later the parade starts again and as soon as we progress five yards it starts to rain. Lots of looking at the hills then the two old timers, they appear oblivious.

Up round Carlisle Circus and down Clifton Centre. On one side of Clifton Street, some of the pensioners from Clifton House out to watch the parade, on the other some police landrovers with a small group of residents from Carrick Hill standing watching. I think I recognise a few faces from interface meetings but not sure, (make mental note to visit opticians).

Just as we reach Donegall Street the parade stops to allow the County Officers to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. Fortunately the rain eases. Another member and I spot a bunch of pyjama mamas and a bunch of kids, nearly all wearing hooded pink dressing gowns, standing at the flats development at Carrick Hill. We start debating if they are out watching the parade. It’s not exactly protest attire and the kids are youngsters and seem to be pointing at the bands and getting excited. Before conclusions are reached the parade starts up again and down Donegall Street where I do my usual estimation of the size and height of the Lenin statue (more of which later) and back through the City Centre. Wave and shout hello to friends as the parade progresses. Dip the banner duty again as we pass the Cenotaph.

As my lodge reaches the Dublin Road I ring my wife to tell her I am almost there but too late she has had to get her lift to work. Three Twelfths together and she still hasn’t seen me walk in a parade, (although I used the Battle of the Boyne documentary last night to continue her education).

As we exit Shaftesbury Square the heaven’s open and at the same time the usual crisis with bringing children hits, multiple urgent needs for the toilet. Fortunately the extra portaloos provided this year come to the rescue.

Up past Tates Avenue and the parade halts for a 10 minute rest break. Our stop point is 20 yards short of were a bunch of my mates always stand. So I dander on up for a chat. This year one of the husband and wife pair’s have bought their new dog bedecked with Union flag, Boots, half husky, half collie, all mad. It makes repeated attempts to jump up and lick everyone round it to death until it finds an appreciative Glaswegian. One of the bunch is also a quasi-slugger addict we talk about the south Armagh thread and he tells me he emailed a link to a map for the South Armagh/Not South Armagh debate. Even on the Twelfth slugger is never far away.

Among the group are two fellow conspirators, are we ever going to put that sash on Lenin’s statue for a bit of crack? This idea was first suggested by one of us many years ago and has now become an annual chat topic. The planning is done yet again with all the earnestness of people who know that they actually have gained sufficient maturity that they will never do it but like to remember when they were younger and dafter.

The Lodges and bands show signs of getting ready to head off again so I say my goodbyes and back to my Lodge. No more stops straight on to the field. The rain stops completely as we reach the end of Balmoral Avenue. An old timer’s knee goes and he hops in the car. There are new instructions about what Lodge cars and bands are to do when they enter the field. The result, about one third do the right thing, one third do it half right and one third do what they did last year i.e. completely wrong. Lots of hand waving looking at instructions and shouts of houl on and where you going but tired legs mean everyone soon decides to get it sorted out when the return parade starts. It is memories of incidents like this that always make me smile when someone describes the OO as some sort of grand conspiracy.

A spot to set the banner down is found. The Lodge car parks up and after wrestling with ground sheets, poles and cable ties we have a nice spot to rest and have something to eat and drink. The bantering and chatting starts. As the ‘newly wed’ in the lodge I get all the usual joke ‘horror’ stories of married men augmented by the terror of children. This is interspersed with the entertainment of one of the families in the Lodge – two sons winding up their father.

A few aimless wanders around the field to see who you see (better to keep walking rather than stand, standing makes sore feet very painful). Listen for a few minutes at the platform. Ring Mick and shoot the breeze with him a few minutes. A few seconds after the call finished I get a text from him needing an explanation of bowlers. Ring back with the explanation I was given. Get introduced to some visitors from Tennesee. Later chat some politics with a DUP councillor. Unfortunately the field is as you would expect after a few months of rain, muddy. However, after you step in a pile of mud and get your shoes and trousers covered in glar better to be philosophical and plough on. It’s the dry cleaners problem now.

A few sit downs to rest legs and feet. Quick inspection of foot condition but no need the first aid tent this year. My cunning plan to avoid blisters has worked. Then have the fish that got away conversation with other lodge members instead about blisters, “It was so big…”. The worse year for me was the first re-routing of the Twelfth to Ormeau Park. Our car clocked 19 miles and I was doing marshall that year so lots of running about. It required a long visit to the first aid tent followed by a painful walk home.

The kids are taken to the toy stalls to spend the money Lodge members have given them. Unfortunately, the stalls are selling airhorns so continual tooting but all three are enjoying their day so resist a Scrooge moment. Just as things start to get boring in the field its time to set off again. The mess begins to untangle itself, much stop and starting, we should be in there no you shouldn’t where’s the marshal etc. The sun also begins to emerge as we leave the field and by the time we reach Balmoral Avenue it is bright sunshine. As we progress down the road the daughter of one Lodge member decides to put her Highland dance classes into practice – jumping and twirling the steps to the flute band tunes. Lots of cameras snapping shouts of encouragement to her and occassional ripples of applause for her spontaneous efforts.

As I thought there seemed to be little/no action on public drinking by the police, by my own estimation it was down a bit on previous years but still far too much of it. We reach Shaftesbury Square. The crowd closes in, singing along as the band plays the Sash. The banner carriers have kept to their word and carried it the whole way. They have enough energy to dance around with the banner but a marshall spots it so we’ll probably get fined. Turn off the Dublin Road and back round to Sandy Row. Memorial duty for the last time then into a side street.

The Lodge falls out then the banner is propped up against the wall and post parade arrangements discussed. In the midst of this a gust of wind catched the banner. It falls over but caught a few inches from my head, almost end my Twelfth with a cracked skull. The Lodge car is unloaded of possessions then some go to the WM’s house for a bite to eat and some drink. Others head on home with shouts of see you at the Lodge meeting. I am among those to head home. A much needed lift up home and the releif of getting into the house. Take off the shoes and jacket. Reply to well-wishing text messages from friends in England and Spain.

Switch on the hot water for a good soak but make the error of switching on the computer. Update the Orange Halls thread with the South Armagh link and then check out my Twelfth thread. See the good wishes and Comrade Stalin’s queries in public drinking. I reply but when I double check it appeared I spot merrie’s query for an update on my day. I sit down to do a brief reply but it seems to grow until I decide to just do it as a thread. That strange surge of energy your body finds at times when by rights you should be horizontal. Now the surge is declining and good sense is telling me to to get into the hot bath I was supposed to have an hour ago or so ago. So enjoy this tome or not, I will be enjoying the warmth of a good soak and coming up with my excuses for not listening to my wife’s sensible advice this morning. How does “You don’t understand, it’s an Ulster Prod thing” sound?

  • Dewi

    How does “You don’t understand, it’s an Ulster Prod thing” sound?

    Fair Deal @ 10:57 PM

    Sounds good but glad you enjoyed it.

  • Pounder

    How old is your granny FD?

  • Garibaldy

    I hope any desecration of Lenin’s statue results in a suitable bout of political re-education.

  • Reader

    Garibaldi: I hope any desecration of Lenin’s statue results in a suitable bout of political re-education.
    “desecration”? Is Leninism a religion?

  • Garibaldy

    Not if you ask Pope Benedict, but then neither is anything else

  • frank

    Funniest part of the 12th for me was Belfast Grand Master of the orange order, Dawson Baillie saying that he disagreed with the DUP going into the Stormont administration with Sinn Fein.

    He said that ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots’

    And this from a man who refused to condemn the loyalist terrorist actions of two years ago and claimed that the uvf were an important part of the unionist community & protected orange marches.

    Perhaps Dawson also missed lodge 733’s banner commemorating uff commander & mass murderer Joe ‘Chinky’ Bratty.

  • Rory

    Goodness me! What an exciting day, young man. Almost as exciting as mine.

    I had a chat with Mrs. Trubshaw at the Tesco checkout and she said she had won a packet of veggie sausages at the OAP’s Saturday Night Club bingo.

    Lord how we laughed! I asks you. Fair sets the old blood pressure racing.

    Hope the “Good Lady Wife” (nudge, nudge) made you a nice cup of Ovaltine when you got in to calm you down a bit.

  • McGrath

    FD:

    “It is memories of incidents like this that always make me smile when someone describes the OO as some sort of grand conspiracy.”

    Its fear FD, fear of what is not understood.

  • McGrath

    FD:

    “Lots of hand waving looking at instructions and shouts of houl on”

    “Houl on”, I have worked with enough prods to know there is very little or no difference between us. How do we get the message across?

  • McGrath

    FD:

    “Beside us there are a bunch of excited Chinese tourists so we pose for photos with them and let them wear a collarette (shush don’t tell Grand Lodge technically we’re not supposed to do that).”

    If they were a bunch of excited nationalists from, say, Banbridge, would they have been extended the same courtesy? Or maybe would they have had the shit kicked out of them later that night?

    Sorry FD, but I think I encompass the major issue?

  • McGrath

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6896687.stm

    In any case, I condemn those involved in the attached attack.

  • allybo

    Found an ‘insiders’ account of the day interesting, FD. To me it seemed to suggest that the Belfast Parade is striving to move towards the model of the rural parades-i.e. more of a family day out and less perceived triumphalism and paramilitary symbolism on display by unwanted hangers on.

    Is your connection with the Sandy Row Lodge long-standing , FD?

  • fair_deal

    Woken up bright eyed and bushy taled sort of, legs and feet a little tender but the good soak seems to have done its job.

    McGrath

    1. How would I know they are nationalists?
    2. Personally speaking I have done the same with the couple of Catholic friends who watch the Twelfth. (Both wives of friends), don’t honestly know their politics mind you.

    Pounder

    Is the email genuine?

    Allybo

    I have been in a Sandy Row Lodge for over 12 years and this particular lodge for about 5.

    Rory

    LOL, it certainly doesn’t have the ring of a ‘thriller’ about it.

  • stan Erraught

    Please to explain KAT?

  • allybo

    Why did you move from one lodge to another within Sandy Row, FD ?

    Is it not a tradition to remain in your original lodge?

  • derrydave

    Very interseting to read a detailed account from someone who was taking part FD. As a republican from Derry I would have felt only hatred and revulsion towards the OO growing up. After reading your account, and with all the changes which are taking place in this little island of ours, I genuinely think that I may actually make an effort to attend one of the parades next year – out of curiosity if nothing else.

    It’s a strange wind that’s blowing through the North these days – maybe all’s not lost after all !

  • fair_deal

    Allybo

    The Lodge handed its warrant back/folded. Most do stay in the same Lodge but there is some movement of members usually over someone moving home, minor arguments etc.

    Derrydave

    I hope you do and I hope it goes well. There was progress at parades this year that provides a good basis for next year.

    Stan

    Its a sectarian graffitti acronym it means Kill All Taigs. Taigs being a derogatory term for Roman Catholics.

  • stan Erraught

    Thanks – seems blindingly obvious now of course

  • Pól

    From the UTV 12th programme last night the parades and the big meet up in the park seemed very poorly attended. Admittedly I have nothing to compare them to but I thought there would have been maybe 40 or 50 thousand in the park but it appeared on tv to be literally a couple of hundred. Is this normal, did UTV do a terrible job or was it just the weather?

  • fair_deal

    Pol

    “Is this normal”

    Yes.

  • allybo

    Are you for Scarva today, FD?

    Hope there isn’t an upset result what with it being Friday The Thirteenth and all that…..

  • fair_deal

    allybo

    No, few odd jobs round the house then this afternoon with my wife. The result is assured, it’s all predestined 😉

  • merrie

    Thank you very much FD for this report, I am learning something new.

    12 miles walking is hard if you are not used to it, 12 miles cycling is much much easier, though I guess it would be hard to hammer a lambeg even by the second rider on a tandem….

  • fair_deal

    You are welcome merrie. In Belfast we cheat and put the Lambegs on the back of a lorry.

  • Miss Fitz

    Derry Dave
    You should go to the Apprentice Boys parade in Derry. It is a great visual treat, well organised and enjoyable.

  • Miss Fitz

    FD
    Who is on your banner? I got a lot of good shots early on in the parade in Shaftesbury Square, and moght have one

  • Ian

    “a small group of residents from Carrick Hill standing watching. I think I recognise a few faces from interface meetings but not sure, (make mental note to visit opticians).”

    “I spot a bunch of pyjama mamas and a bunch of kids, nearly all wearing hooded pink dressing gowns, standing at the flats development at Carrick Hill. We start debating if they are out watching the parade. It’s not exactly protest attire and the kids are youngsters and seem to be pointing at the bands and getting excited.”

    So the prospect of protesters gives you something to relieve the monotony and take your mind off your aching feet? It’s sounds like you’d miss them if they stopped protesting!

  • Cruimh

    For some balance – and as a genuine question – how did our nationalist and republican brethren spend the day? We know Mac worked. Quiet day for me – don’t drink, smoke or chase weemen, so to be honest every day is the same – monotonous 😉
    I know that elected SF reps often go to trouble spots in their wards/constituencies to keep an eye on events – but what do average SF members do ?

  • cladycowboy

    Glad you enjoyed your big day out Fair Deal. I do however must put forward my qualms with the whole thing. I mean its hardly riveting.

    Don’t you realise, that come the Republic, there is a whole generation of Republicans wanting to embrace their inner Orangeman?

    This, whilst a nice and gentle opening to a good day out, will hardly suffice. We want something whereby we’ll be in such high spirits we’ll be bouncing on the sidelines of the parade singing the Sash.

    Last St. Patrick’s Day after having just watched Ireland trounce Italy I left the Oirish pub in Soho to the green bedecked hoardes of Aussies, Americans and English and ventured to the Dutch pub nearby.
    We ordered some tasty but deadly Belgian beers and threw my arm around the nearest Scot and joined in with ‘Flower of Scotland’ but still the French stole our championship. We were consoled by some very pretty Dutch girls who we befriended and took up their invite to join them for the Dutch national holiday festival on the South Bank.

    I put on all the orange in my wardrobe and had a great day and night out. Get back to your roots, Fair Deal. It has to end with a big Euro-dance free festival, its the only way to help the word grow, believe me…barring that get a few fit Dutch girls to bang your lambeg

  • fair_deal

    Missfitz

    Open bible with crown on it – The Protestant Religion we will maintain
    Portrait of King William III

    Ian

    No aching feet at the start of a parade and I think the mamas and kids were watching rather than protesting. I remember one community meeting were a nationalist community worker said he probably had a better attendance record at Orange parades than some Orangemen.

  • Comrade Stalin

    FD,

    I enjoyed this account, thanks. In response to your comment at the end, my moans about drinking and other illegal stuff are generally associated the the 11th night bonfires. Unlike other people I don’t mind the marches themselves that much, or the public holiday meaning that everything is shut. I just stay out of the way and use the day off to potter about the house.

    Sammy Morse made a comment on another thread that made me pause for thought, namely that illegal public drinking happens at similar public gatherings to this around the world, so perhaps we need to be a bit more open minded about that particular point. If the peelers lifted people who were being drunk and disorderly, rather than merely enjoying the day with a few jars, I guess that would be a good start.

  • merrie

    Belfast is the first town I have been in which actually has “no drinking of alcohol” signs on the streets.

  • fair_deal

    CS

    No worries, sorry if my comment read as if I was having a go that wasn’t my intention.

  • darth rumsfeld

    F-D
    surely you secretly miss the real twelfth in County Londonderry, as opposed to that Belfast effort. We even got sunburned

    And for completeness’ sake shouldn’t you reveal that all orangemen finish the day off by eating a Catholic baby? That ought to satisfy some of the begrudgers

    I’ll get me sash

  • merrie

    Darth:

    >> all orangemen finish the day off by eating a Catholic baby<< what do the veggie Orangemen eat instead? 😀

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Cruimh: “For some balance – and as a genuine question – how did our nationalist and republican brethren spend the day?”

    Home, on pain-killers and in the spa.

  • frank

    fd

    What are your thoughts on one of your fellow Sandy Row lodges commemorating uff commander Joe Bratty on the bands banner at yesterday’s parade.

    Its the second year that the King Edward Memorial Temperance LOL 733 have been lead by the ulster first flute band from Sandy Row who carried their banner commemorating uff mass murderer Joe Bratty at yesterday’s Belfast parade.

    Would it be fair to say that Lodge 733 supports terrorism ?

  • frank

    typo…’have been led’

  • allybo

    I am sure that FD, as a consistent and implacable opponent of terrorism, will unreservedly and unequivocally condemn the members of a fellow Sandy Row Lodge that secured the services of a Band that commemorates this terrorist.-over to you, FD.

  • fair_deal

    Darth

    I see plenty of my home county on ABOD parades.

    frank

    You asked me a similar question before. My answer remains the same it shouldn’t have been carried by the band.

  • The Third Policeman

    FD I’ve always wondered, what actually goes on inside Orange halls? The parading and all I get and mostly I have no problems with. Although I gotta say I find the bonfires quite sickening but the halls themselves, well I’ve no idea at all at all.

    Now the rational, scientific portion of my brain says you read Bible passages and have band practise. And yet I feel my inner Shinner telling me you plot to retake Clontibret and drive us all to hell or Connaught. But seriously, how often would the average member visit the lodge? Is it a weekly thing? Would there be tea and all that? If it helps I’ve no idea what goes on in a Hib hall either, except when I went to bingo the odd time, but that was before the smoking ban and you might as well not been there at all because you couldn’t see the score card in your hands for the smoke.

  • allybo

    Fair Deal,

    Do you not condemn the actions of the Sandy RowLodge in choosing to retain this band’s services once again this year in the full knowledge that they would once more carry the same offensive terrorist tribute, which of course they did?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “You asked me a similar question before. My answer remains the same it shouldn’t have been carried by the band. ”

    And what, out of curiousity, did the vaunted marshalls or PSNI do about said banner?

  • Graham

    I’m not sure how relevant this post is, but i need to get this off my chest…. As a non-Catholic and someone who happens to live on the Cregagh road can someone with more “insight” into the loyalist mentality perhaps tell me – why the little fuckers not content with lighting the bonfires where they should be – ALSO saw fit to build bonfires ON THE PUBLIC road at 5 junctions all the way up the Cregagh Road on the 11th July. I drove up at 5pm and lots of little spidey people were hauling tyres, lumps of wood, pallets, furniture etc., and unbelievably in one case an electric cooker (what the fuck!!) right out into the middle of the street. I drove back down about 9.30pm and they were all blazing away. Not only content with burning the street (actually five streets), they also managed to destroy a set of traffic lights and the control units. Two aspects of this totally insense me: 1. it is people like me (who actually work for a fucking living) that will end up paying for this shit. 2. I presume that the Cregagh Road being a fairly major carriageway was patrolled by the PSNI at some point on the 11th July and that the police may have noticed a few little (actually not so little) bonfires being erected in the middle of the road…. Hmmmm So if i decide to take my old sofa out into the road and set fire to it, that’s going to be alright then? You bet your fucking life its not. This was the first time in a long time that i was forced to stay in Belfast during this so-called ‘festival’. I can honestly say that the atmosphere in most parts of Belfast – i had to drive over to the Royal a few times to see my brother who had just been admitted – was like so tense. The whole scene was like some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare with empty streets and an eerie silence (at least until the drunks started leaving the pubs). In fact, the Cregagh road on the morning of the 12th looked as if it had been bombed from the air. The stench of smoke, burning tyres, ash everywhere…. NIghtmare.

  • McGrath

    FD:

    1. How would I know they are nationalists?
    2. Personally speaking I have done the same with the couple of Catholic friends who watch the Twelfth. (Both wives of friends), don’t honestly know their politics mind you.

    They would have been wearing Celtic shirts of course! (I jest)

    I was commenting figuratively, not intended to be a comment about you personally.

  • allybo

    FD,
    A straight answer to my question in Post number 17 of this page would be appreciated.

  • fair_deal

    Allybo

    Apologies for the delay wasn’t online last night, IMO the Lodge shouldn’t have hired the band. The rest as an OO member I am required to say to them directly rather than in cyber space.

    DC

    AFAIK the banner makes no direct reference to a terrorist group simply has the name and picture of a person murdered in the Troubles so it is not illegal.

  • fran

    ‘AFAIK the banner makes no direct reference to a terrorist group simply has the name and picture of a person murdered in the Troubles so it is not illegal.’

    So thats alright then fd.

    Here’s a pic that might give you a clue to Mr Bratty’s past.

    ‘South Belfast UFF commander Joe Bratty’

    http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jul2006/sectattackirnews18jul06c.gif

    Joe ‘chinky’ Bratty remained an active member of the orange order & Apprentice boys during his killing spree’s of the late 80’s & early 90’s. He was involved in the sectarian murders of over 20 Catholics during the period.

    Perhaps thats why he is held in such high regard within the orange institutiion.

    Fair deal were you not aware that Joe Bratty was a uff commander or that one of your local bands and lodges commemorated the killer.

  • fair_deal

    frank

    I never said it was “alright”. It was in answer to a specific question about why there was no police action.

    I remember the issue being raised last year about the band bannerette and read the associated stories.

  • allybo

    FD, Thanks for the reply. I presume that , in private, you and other fair-minded brethren will be prevailing upon the relevant lodge not to hire this Band for parades later this summer.

    Perhap had you done that last year, we would have been spared the sight of this ghoulish banner that so undermines your efforts to improve the image of the OO.

  • skinbop

    Fran – I don’t recall Bratty ever been convicted of murder – do you?

    Also will resist temptation for whataboutery.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “AFAIK the banner makes no direct reference to a terrorist group simply has the name and picture of a person murdered in the Troubles so it is not illegal. ”

    in other words, its SSDD — The OO celebrates the hoods, then tries to pussyfoot around the truth. A few lying crocidile tears, a few rhetorical questions of why Catholics object to their parades, then right back into the business of celebrating Protestant gunmen.

    It celebrates a Loyalist murderer, FD, and all your sophistry and semantics cannot change that. If you ever wonder why the OO is firmly connected in the minds of some with Loyalist / Protestant terrorism, think on that banner and try a little harder.

  • Outsider

    Is this the only problem people have with the 12th the questionable banner that Ivan Little mentioned in his report. He also said that paramiltary trapings were well down on previous years, and next year I believe they will be gone for good.

    FD

    It has been claimed that orangeism is struggling in relation to attracting new members in Belfast, can you confirm or deny that?

  • pith

    Can paint dry in the rain?

  • frank

    “Fran – I don’t recall Bratty ever been convicted of murder – do you?”

    skinbop

    terrorist apologists take many forms and the 2007 version of the orange order are happy to be associated with, and happy to celebrate mass murderers within its ranks.

    From Bratty & The Shankill Butchers in Belfast to uvf murderers in Coleraine & Lisburn.

    When the leadership of the orange order accepts and supports mass murderers, don’t blame those who critisize for the likes of Deputy grand master McMordie,Dawson Baillie or Billy Mawhinney who, as senior members of the orange institution openly endorced loyalist terrorism.

    Its not a Belfast thing, its an orange leadership thing.

    ‘A thing’ that openly supports the mass murderers of loyalism through public statements, and through the commemoration of killers in bands and lodges.

  • fair_deal

    allybo

    People don’t always listen

  • fair_deal

    DC

    Can the moral outrage. You asked a specific question re: the police. IMO just because it jumps the legal hurdle doesn’t make it right.

  • nanc.ie

    KAT?

    Damn!

    I thought it was the more acceptable KAJ!

  • allybo

    FD,
    If people don’t always listen, then sanctions should be taken against them. Had this happened already, then the front page of today’s Sunday Life would not be headlining this story.

  • fair_deal

    allybo

    Hopefully the promised OO investigation will achieve a positive outcome.

  • Outsider

    Hi Fair Deal

    I am interested to know your opinion on the current state of Orangeism in Belfast and how this bodes for the future, for instance is membership really dwindling in the capital city?

  • fair_deal

    Outsider

    I don’t know the figures but my general impression is it’s ticking over with some signs of change but still plenty to do.

  • Outsider

    Thats my general impression to, however here in Fermanagh the institution this year has again increased with a good blend of young, middle aged and older members.

    I feel the order needs a more proactive leader such as Lord Laird instead of Robert Saulters who gave a dreadful speech at the 12th.

    The order does however need to attract more new members in areas such as Belfast as it cannot rely soley on members from Fermanagh and Tyrone.

  • fair_deal

    Outsider

    Congrats to Fermanagh

  • Outsider

    Hi Fair Deal

    There are a huge number of people within the OO in Fermanagh who work tirelessly to promote the Order and recruit new members, their time and commitment is really paying off. In addition to this there are border counties that have impressive bands and lodges as well so I do belive that this bodes well for the future.

    I had a relative who came over from England for this years 12th thinking that it was coming to an end as it had heard a lot of soundbites etc indicating that this was the case. To say he was surprised at the huge parade is a complete understatement.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “Can the moral outrage. You asked a specific question re: the police. IMO just because it jumps the legal hurdle doesn’t make it right. ”

    Incorrect — I also asked about the parade marshals. To quote: “And what, out of curiousity, did the VAUNTED MARSHALS (emphasis added)or PSNI do about said banner?

    So long as the OO permits such banners, they will enjoy their current reputation. So long as you play semantic games and produce sophistry, you’ll look like an apologist for the OO and its relationship with Loyalism. The fact that you are reduced to semantic games and selective is telling.

    If the OO wants to lie down with dogs, that is their business… but they have no grounds to complain that others don’t want them about, for fear of the fleas.

  • fair_deal

    DC

    The only one engaging in semantics or sophistry is yourself. An answer to the specific question becomes a general statement and interpreted to represent a view I don’t hold.

    Re: Marshalls – They deal with breaches in one of two ways, either an approach to the master of the lodge for action, if no action it is included in the marshalls report or they simply make a note of it of the infrigement for the marshalls report. the Lodge then gets an opportunity to respond then a ruling is made on the infringements.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    First of all, FD, pointing out that you selectively read my post is not a matter of semantics or sophistry.

    Second of all, as I am given to understand from this thread that this is the second year running this banner has been displayed in this parade, which suggests that the OO is not really keen on cutting the perceived cord between themselves and Loyalism.

    Lastly, since you seem to have no apparent issue with the banner, I would expect then that you shan’t be complaining about the beret and bomber jacket set next time they decide to go on a jaunt in the name of some bomber or butcher — if its gravy for a goose, it must be gravy for a gander. If the OO, that bastion of Protestant thought and faith, allows the celebration of Loyalist thugs, how can they complain when other communities celebrate their own thugs?

    A public event such as a parade has a speech aspect to it. If the OO really wants not to be conflated in the minds of the public with Loyalism, perhaps they shouldn’t mumble and fumble as much as they do.

  • jim

    The uvf & uff have marshalled many orange order parades over the years, so marshalls are unlikely to take action against their paramilitary colleagues carrying paramilitary banners

  • Merrie

    Interesting article by Tom McGurk in Sunday Business Post about the confusion the OO might be feeling now:

    http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=TOM+MCGURK-qqqs=commentandanalysis-qqqid=25122-qqqx=1.asp

    “Almost as though it had never presented a problem before, this year’s Twelfth of July, the high point of the marching season, passed off without any trouble.

    Given the new political circumstances, the boys of Ballygobackwards must have had terrible problems putting together speeches for the field afterwards.

    When former members of the IRA Army Council are sitting in Stormont in ministerial positions, there’s not a lot left to be warning the brethren about.

    In many ways, the confusion felt by last Thursday’s Orange Order speechmakers only reflects a wider confusion.

    The power-sharing experiment between the DUP and Sinn Fein is actually, by dint of its very existence, attacking that central myth belying partition itself: the necessity of separateness and the importance of difference. For centuries, the North has been trapped in a culture of separateness and differences, its ‘us and them’ mentality the ineluctable concept of two separated tribes going about their ways in two separate cultures.

    Even in so short a time, the power of a devolved government being shared between the two extremes of the post-plantation political quagmire that the North had become, has profoundly shaken all the assumptions.

    Suddenly – and this is no exaggeration centuries of perceived wisdoms and homespun consensus about the ‘other side’ are being challenged – not to mention what has happened to generations of political assumptions.

    The greatest challenge being faced in this area is by unionism. Its central founding myth – that political power in the hands of Irish nationalists threatened the unionist way of life – is now under scrutiny as never before.”

  • robert

    It seems that the uda do indeed steward orange parades

    ‘Stewarding marches and keeping them peaceful’

    http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/article2771108.ece

    The PSNI refused to allow orange stewards through the gates of Workman Avenue during the contentious Whiterock parade this year because the stewards were if fact…guess.

  • fair_deal

    DC

    “my post is not a matter of semantics or sophistry.”

    Making the actions of this band and lodge’s failure to act a statement by the entire organisation is.

    “since you seem to have no apparent issue with the banner”

    Oh dear who is doing selective reading now? What part of “My answer remains the same it shouldn’t have been carried by the band.” did you not understand?

    “I would expect then that you shan’t be complaining about the beret and bomber jacket set next time they decide to go on a jaunt in the name of some bomber or butcher”

    See above.

  • skinbop

    Frank – not sure why you included my comment in your posting since you made no attempt to address the question. Weird.

  • Outsider

    The problem with Slugger is that the responses generated from threads generally stem from militant republican origins. As someone pointed out on this messageboard some time ago the voice of middle ground constitutional nationalism has been silenced therefore the Protestant/Unionist section of this board have to endure hate filled posts from a group of people who are not representative of the community they are from.

    The thread that was started asking for people to state three good things about the Orange Order immediately degenerated into a hate filled rant against the Orange Order which lack the obvious charm, vision and respect that genuine Nationalism generally displays.

    It seems that many on this board have went out of their way to be offended by one banner which 99.99% of Orangeism have been disgusted with. However the ever vigilant members of slugger have refused to gave the Order any credit for ensuring that this years 12th was the most peaceful in years, for tackling the problem of Alcohol at orange parades and for reducing the amount of paramilitary trappings at orange parades.

    If Republicans are serious about a shared future then they need to seriously revise their intolerant attitudes to the Orange Order.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “Making the actions of this band and lodge’s failure to act a statement by the entire organisation is. ”

    Trying to isolate the bad behavior as being limited solely to a given lodge or band is futile — it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the barrel. As they are allowed to remain part of the the whole, their actions reflect on the whole. Likewise, as they re-invited a band that carried this banner, they (and by extension, all the other bands and lodges that marched) have no apparent problem with said banner.

    If they were troubled at all with the presence of the banner last year, all they had to do to solve the matter was not invite the band in question to march this year. As they chose to do so, they are given their defacto approval to the banner.

    FD: “Oh dear who is doing selective reading now? What part of “My answer remains the same it shouldn’t have been carried by the band.” did you not understand? ”

    Which displays no real disturbance on your part — a verbal shrug at most. You are seemingly unperturbed, with no more discomfit that the fellow who realized he wore brown shoes with a black belt or some other nearly insignificant faux pas.

  • fair_deal

    DC

    On this issue, the ball was well and truly dropped. However claims of universal agreement/support etc is still more your imaginings than the attitudes that exist.

    So saying something shouldn’t happen becomes quasi-support. What was that about sophistry and semantics?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “On this issue, the ball was well and truly dropped. However claims of universal agreement/support etc is still more your imaginings than the attitudes that exist. ”

    Do not confuse tacit approval with some official stamp of approval. One does not have to open declaim one’s approval of something to demonstrate it, say, by their open association with Loyalist marching bands what celebrate massacres.

    The freedom to associate is also the freedom to not associate. By inviting this band, the lodge has signaled it approval of their banner. By marching, the other groups have demonstrated their willingness to be associated with this band.

    YOU may salve yourself with discussion of the arcane internal structure of the OO and bureaucratic double-talk and dog and pony show investigations that never quite seems to reach the logical solution to this idiotic displays of sectarism. A goodly number of the rest of us see Orangement freely associating with Loyalism. The parade organizers CHOSE to invite this band. The other bands and lodges CHOSE to participate, despite last year’s display of sectarianism. Last year, maybe your argument held some water. This year it should not.

    Who do you propose we believe, you or our own damned eyes?

  • fair_deal

    The other lodges etc didn’t know. When you are physically participating in a procession some two miles long you only know what is in front of you and behind you. The last I had heard it had been sorted out after last year but something else went wrong hence why I said the ball was well and truly dropped.

  • Ziznivy

    On Graham’s point about the hoods on the Cregagh Road, I completely sympathise. I stayed in Belfast this year for the twelfth as circumstances conspired against me. It’s interesting that you mention your old settee. On the eleventh night some old furniture appeared in the street in the shape of a three piece suite and a few other items. Of course by the twelfth morning this was a charred mess which lay in the middle of the road until yesterday. I wasn’t sure whether to be more angry at the people who’d dragged this out to avoid having to dispose of it properly, or the wee hoods who’d set it on fire.

    Taking a somewhat anthropological view of being around the city parade, I visited Sandy Row bonfire on the 11th with a mate. It was a reasonably tame and harmless event and there were Poles and some Chinese attending quite happily and getting locals to take snaps of them in front of the fire. There was plenty of drink, but also plenty of families and nothing seemed to get out of hand.

    The 12th saw me a little sluggish after partaking in the previous night’s Harperage a little too enthusiastically. I missed the morning parade along the Lisburn Road and struggled to find anywhere open for a bit of lunch (any number of burgers of course could have been obtained). My girlfriend had some strange compulsion to go walking below Shaw’s Bridge in the afternoon, despite my warnings that the field was close by. There was a fair bit of drink in evidence where we parked, a good few casualties passed out on the side of the road etc., a fair bit of roaring and shouting. Nothing to your average music festival for example.

    In the evening we went up to observe the return parade and I was buttonholed by some NI supporting mates just outside the Edinburgh Club. It was a bit of an eye-opener having only ever seen one parade before (the Ballymena one). The rowdiest bands undoubtedly added the sense of fun, but some of their activities did have a degree of aggression behind them. Lord Laird’s float is pitiful to be honest. There was a degree of drunkeness and vandalism (kids jumping on the portable toilets etc) but it was far from the norm and pretty representative of any big crowd’s behaviour.

  • Lafcadio

    I caught a little bit of the parades on tv on the twelfth, and the biggest impression was that it was all just a little half-assed – how hard is it for the bands and orangemen to simply walk in step and some semblance of order? Answer – not very, because some were managing it ok. But on the whole, the impression was of just a fairly slovenly, and underwhelming bunch of people wandering along – with inconsistency in dress, people leaving and entering along the way, and cars in the middle of the parade.

    So FD I’m glad you enjoyed your day, but I would say that if the twelfth is to be appealing as a spectacle to a wider audience, whether they be tourists, non-unionists whoever, more effort should be spent in the first instance making it impressive to look at. I’m sure that there would be those who would say that this is part of the charm etc – well surely what you should be aiming at is dignity and soemnity and I didn’t see a great deal of that.

    I went last year to the parade in Coleraine with my (French) girlfriend, to show her what it’s all about, it was the first time I’d been to one for ages, and while I’d say that it was better seen in the flesh, with some decent bands, colourful banners etc, there was still this overhang of mediocrity. Nobody knew when the bands would come; there was supposed to be a “multicultural” parade, which turned out to be about 3 black guys with drums, and a couple of chinese people with a dragon outfit, who walked around about 15 mins ahead of the main parade (sorry to say, but we just burst out laughing at how ridiculous it was); it was ok, but I’d be hard-pushed to say it was a great spectacle.

    (My girlfriend was over again this year, and she didn’t mention she’d like to go back..)

    I don’t know whether it’s a NI thing, an inability to organise impressive public spectacles, I remember going to the St Pat’s parade in Belfast when I was at uni (2001?), and I had to leave for fear of losing toes, so restricted was the bloodflow due to their curling – I just have vague nightmarish memories of a sea of celtic and ROI football shirts, black taxis blowing their horns and clapped out lorries with tattered bits of green hanging from them.

  • merrie

    It seems, with a couple of lapses, the OO is changing and with Nationalists retrieving stolen OO banners and a DUP person defending an SF person maybe the trend is going to be a battle as to who is doing the nicest things to the other!!

    There is a Hindi guru who says that elections should be won by a person who has given most praise to his/her opponents, not the one who has belittled them.

    Now wouldn’t that be a change in NI, or indeed everywhere.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “The other lodges etc didn’t know.”

    First, the banner made the walk last year and, as I recall, did not go unnoticed or uncommented upon. As such, it was well within their capability of finding out if the same lot of louts had been invited back. A reputation is the easiest thing to destroy and one of the hardest to repair.

    Secondly, from a public relations aspect, it doesn’t really matter — they were there, the offending banner and band were there, all freely associating with one another. Given the reverberating silence out of the OO on the matter, is it unfair to assume they approve?

    FD: “The last I had heard it had been sorted out after last year but something else went wrong hence why I said the ball was well and truly dropped. ”

    Sure they did… and when it happens next year?

    The ball wasn’t dropped, it was spiked, with the band not merely carrying the banner, but doing an American-style touchdown dance in front of the place where the massacre took place. That is not “dropping the ball.”

    As I said, all that had to be done was make sure the offending band and associated lodge went uninvited. That’s all — and the OO couldn’t even manage that simple solution — delete one or two entries from their invite list and move on.

    One could argue, based upon the blatant act of triumphalism and celebration of sectarian massacre, that the parade should not march past that location in future years. If the parade as a whole cannot maintain its composure going past the site, mayhap it should be re-routed so the temptation does not arise.

    I don’t have your faith that this was a bureaucratic screw-up, FD — they fooled the organizers once, shame on them… fooled them twice, shame on the organizers…

    …assuming any fooling was actually going on.

  • josey

    As a member of the Ulster First Flute band i have to point out that we were never asked nor told not to carry our banner so we saw no problem with it. In the past at Orange parades we have been asked not to carry paramilitary flags and we have always obliged when asked.