First Minister condemns Hall attacks

First Minister Ian Paisley’s ears must have been burning at the small protest in Hillsborough last night, where one disgruntled Orangeman was heard to say that ‘whilst Ian Paisley is basking in the warmth of Wall Street, we are warming in the blaze of our own halls’. Slugger understands there is some grumbling inside the Orange particularly against the First Minister and his son and Junior Minister, Ian Paisley junior, not least over the inaction on an insurance logjam for Orange Halls, which is having the effect of putting those halls that are attacked out of public use until such times as a long process involving both police and insurance companies is complete. After a long radio silence on the matter, the First Minister has finally called on the Secretary of State to streamline that claims process so that halls can more quickly get back into use. It is understood that the block lies in the PSNI’s inability to define the attacks as being part of a concerted campaign:

Under current legislation, a group such as the Orange Order needs a Chief Constable Certificate in order to make a claim after an attack. To obtain one, it must be proven that a criminal organisation was responsible for the damage or that three or more people were responsible.

Bobby Saulters, Grand Master had this to say:

“The Orange Institution has invested a considerable amount of time, effort and finance in opening up its halls for community use in order to help bring isolated rural communities out of the trauma suffered by them during the Troubles. These on going attacks and the absence of an adequate Government response to them has led the Institution to doubt what practical benefits the St Andrews Agreement and subsequent establishment of the devolved assembly have brought to our community.”

It has been noted in certain Orange circles that Dr Paisley’s announcement came on the heels of condemnation of the attacks from Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and Reg Empey.


  • PeaceandJustice

    There is a lot of disappointment within Unionism at the lack of DUP action on a number of issues – not just the problems being experienced by the Orange Order.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Agreed P&J;2 years ago there would have been a queue of DUPers lining up to condemn these attacks.

  • Ulster’s my homeland

    [i]It is understood that the block lies in the PSNI’s inability to define the attacks as being part of a concerted campaign:[/i]

    What do they think it is? A fucking trend?

    [i]Under current legislation, a group such as the Orange Order needs a Chief Constable Certificate in order to make a claim after an attack. To obtain one, it must be proven that a criminal organisation was responsible for the damage or that three or more people were responsible.[/i]

    This is unbelievable, it’s like a modern Kosovo this place, too many Protestants, so attack the most dominant Protestant fraternity. Ethnically cleanse the Prods because they don’t fit into Gaelic Ireland.

  • ULster is also my homeland

    Ulster is my homeland

    The attacks are wrong. The Orange Order is a legitimate tradition, and its halls often carry out a useful community function.
    But to claim the Oranage Order is the most dominant protestant fraternity only re-enforces all the myths about a narrow society, and does not reflect the wide coalition of protestants, Unionists, and indeed sorieties.
    Please excuse any spelling errors but I was trying to avoid the use of profanities.

  • The Orangeman in Hillsborough should wise up. When you’re being schmoozed by Shirley Maclaine and Dickie Attenborough, why would you stand up for the people you used and then discarded in your ascent to power? What would your new and more sophisticated friends say?

    Chuckles all round.

  • interested

    The Orangemen at Hillsborough might want to brush up on a few facts before they grumble too hard. If it wasn’t for the DUP the insurance issue wouldn’t be on the table at all – and if they believe that just because it isn’t delivered to them within a few weeks that its some sort of failure then they need to go and get their bumps felt.

    Complaints about speed of delivery from an organisation which takes 23 years to get a motion moved from private lodge, to district, county and Grand Lodge level before a decision is taken should be taken with a rather large pinch of salt.

    What kind of utter morons believe that a politician can only be involved with one issue at a time. Should Ian Paisley be spending 100% of his time working on one particular issue referring to Orange Halls? Or does the fact that Orangemen are losing their jobs or might actually want better paid jobs not important? Economic issues and the betterment of Northern Ireland should be Orange issues too – but a few clampets from Ballygobackwards (and I’m a member of the Order) don’t always seem to see that.

    There has been plenty of condemnation from all round the houses – mind you – next you’ll get complaints that there’s too much condemnation from SF and they’re obviously now being smug and trying to rub in the discomfort or something.

    Unfortunately I feel that the ever illustrious but not so intellectually gifted Grand Master might have lost the run of himself. Anyone who feels the need to appoint David McNarry as an assistant needs to have questions asked of their judgement. Why on earth the Order wants to get more deeply involved in party politics is beyond me when its clear for everyone to see that route has been the genesis of most of its problems in the last decade.

    Not that you’d have an ulterior motive for criticising of course there’ve been countless DUP condemnations of attacks in the last few days. Donaldson, Simpson, Paisley and McCrea and more have all been liberally quoted. In fact it would seem that the DUP were the only political party (or movement possibly) supporting the protest last night.

    There were quotes from the “Orange leadership” in the newspapers about unhappyness with political arrangements etc and what they’re delivering for Prods. Apart from the fact that this makes the deeply stupid assumption that prods don’t care about jobs or anything else it also begs one other question….

    How does the ‘Orange leadership’ get its mandate to make these comments. I or my lodge certainly weren’t asked for our views. Its never been debated at any level within the Order (AFAIK) so who exactly can run out and attempt to make the completley unscientific judgement that apparently Orangemen are or aren’t happy with what is going on at the moment?

    If the Order decides to go back to the days where it believes it can tell its members what to do politically or attempt to tell them what they are thinking politically then its on the one-way road to destruction. Its not the 50’s anymore and the Orange can’t throw itself around anymore as some monolyth of unionist thinking.

    Its just such patent rubbish that the only people who believe it are the kind of morons who turn up to an Orange protest for a perfectly legitimate cause yet for some strange reason still see the need to cover their faces. What exactly are they ashamed of?

  • Turgon

    Nice post. A bit of damage limitation coupled with a side swipe at the Orange order grand master, whilst of course reminding us that you are an orangeman.

    The problem is that Paisley has not been seen around denouncing these attacks recently and neither have all the other lot. They may well have been but perception is everything and it seems the perception is that they have taken their eye off the ball on this one.

    Pointing out economic issues is a good idea. You need to remind traditional supporters that even though you have reneged on lots of committments that you are trying to get them economic success; though the effectiveness of the love in goes to the big apple remains to be seen.

    Bashing the orange order leadership is of course classic iconoclasticism so very popular in the DUP. A bit like calling Molyneaux “Judas” I guess. Incidentally do you still reagrd him as a “Judas”; if so what does that make Dr. Paisley?

    The only flaw in your post is this one “mind you – next you’ll get complaints that there’s too much condemnation from SF and they’re obviously now being smug and trying to rub in the discomfort or something.”

    You are taking at face value SF’s condemnation of attacks on orange halls and indeed celebrating it. I guess you have to agree with your new friends. Next are you going to tell me that British Army equipment set off the Enniskillen bomb or that Darkley and Kingsmills had nothing to do with the IRA. After all republicans told us these things did not they? And of course the Quinn murder was not centrally ordered and the IRA were not corporately responsible.

    Keep up the spinning you seen quite good at it.

  • interested

    The impresson of some is that members of the DUP have not been around condemning these attacks, or on stand-by with firehoses, or whatever it is people want. I believe on the other hand that they probably have been around and the perception of some people is as much to do with their own particular political prejudices than anything to do with reality. Mind you, reality is a strange concept to many of those people…

    My ‘swipe’ at the Orange is nothing to do with the convoluted James Molyneaux conspiracy theory which you draw, but in fact just a few facts which are hard to dodge. The Order needs to ensure that it doesnt get used by two competing groups of useless politicians who see an opportunity at the minute to attack the DUP from both sides. When you see the spectre of David McNarry and Jim Allister (or his ‘supporters’) lining up for different reasons to use attacks on Orange Halls to attack a political party then you’ve realised that no animosity is so great that they can’t get over it to attack their common enemy. The only thing which gets damaged in the process is the Order itself.

    I take SF’s condemnations of Halls in the same way we can take any condemnation. The words are fine but they need to be backed up with actions. Mind you – we moaned for decades about a lack of condemnation coming from those quarters. I’m just slightly amused about how quickly that’s banked and moved on from.

    As for the spnning Turgon – it’ll be interesting to see how the nutters deal with any situation where the compensation/insurance issue gets sorted out. By the complaints they’ve implicitly linked the DUP to the success or failure. Will they be happy to congratulate Paisley if he gets it delivered?

  • Monaghan, Ulster

    Do we really want these halls in Ireland. These people give their allegience to a foreign head of state, they are slaves. Time to clear them out of this country.

  • Turgon

    “I take SF’s condemnations of Halls in the same way we can take any condemnation. The words are fine but they need to be backed up with actions. Mind you – we moaned for decades about a lack of condemnation coming from those quarters. I’m just slightly amused about how quickly that’s banked and moved on from.”

    I do not think we were moaning about SF’s not condemning things like burning down halls. I think the main problem was that they were and are the political representatives of the IRA. That many SF leaders were IRA terrorists, that it was commonly accepted that SF leaders were on the army council of the IRA. You know stuff like that. You may remember there was a time when the DUP believed that you should not share power with terrorists whilst there was still the IRA extant. That was when you regarded things like IRA murders as the corporate responsibility of the IRA.

    I have no interest in “banking” SF’s condemnation and thanking them for it. For them to do what they should always have done is hardly worthy of praise when they continue to give cover for IRA murderers. I would rather “bank” a genunine end to the IRA and its structures and the re-emergence of the rule of law throughout Northern Ireland.

    I guess though a party whose leadership take at face value the claims that the IRA were not “corporately responsible” for Mr. Quinn’s death would obviously take much of what Adams et al. say at face value.

  • interested

    It seems you’re not so bad at ‘spinning’ yourself…. your spinning of the Jim Allister variety of course, that the Army Council is the source of every evil in society and that some fellas with a can of petrol would of course see the error of their ways if the “apex of the structures” were removed.

    Its interesting that you of course have brought the debate around to being somehow related to the DUP entering Government. The burning of halls has absolutely nothing to do with the restoration of devolution and only the anti-devolution ‘One True Voice’ (You’ll be about as successful as the pop group) people are trying to link it.

    The only possible link between devolution and this whole issue is the fact that the dissident republicans and Jim Allister both share the same distaste for devolution and Stormont.

    If you honestly believe that it requires consent and agreement from the Army Council of the IRA to burn an Orange Hall then you want to go and get your bumps felt. To attempt to use the burning of Orange Halls to further a political agenda which is going nowhere is only damaging the Orange Order and what they are trying to achieve. Mind you, the TUVvers probably won’t be too bothered about that.

  • darth rumsfeld

    How interesting
    So your political party’s line for the past thirty years is just so much cant and humbug. The Shinners aren’t so bad after all.

    And I see the Great Crocodile is reported in the Derry Journal as having now offered a personal apology to Rev David Armstrong because his church/party were beastly to him in the 1980s, which Rev David said was offered to him in front of new best friend Marty as a witness.

    Grand Lodge leaders might of course be secret Allisterites, though the failure to consult with your lodge before doing what they are elected to do- i.e. lead- hardly constitutes proof. I suspect your involvement in Orangeism is rather more tangential than committed. For all its faults the UUP pre-Trimble was stuffed with senior Orangemen who knew how the Order worked at all levels and coordinated with it.

    There were certainly many DUP members at Hillsborough, including Poots, but one has to ask why they feel the need to show up at such events ( which are essentially pr stunts) yet snuggle up with the only people who might be able to put a stop to such attacks within the republican community. It’s as brazen as the difference between DUP rhetoric on the Mccartney and Quinn murders.

  • interested

    Your logic that SF can stop all attacks is what we’d expect. Its the kind of logic which told us that the IRA could never be defeated and that the Shinners were much smarter than us and institutes the kind of defeatist attitude which pervades so much of unionist society.

    Its the kind of logic which also assumes that the reverse must be true and that if the DUP and UUP really wanted to then they could stop pipe bomb attacks on GAA clubs. Lets hope Limavady UUP have their press release out tomorrow on that one!

    Nice to see you presume to know my involvement within the Orange Institution so intimately – sweeping presumptions might help you rationalise your thoughts but they don’t add much to the debate. I take about as much (or actually a lot more) involvement as 95% of other Orangemen and I don’t happen to believe that just because I don’t hang on every word which has been put into the Grand Master’s mouth that I’m less of a committed member. I don’t happen to believe that Grand Lodge is stuffed with Allisterites… maybe for that to happen he’d have to join himself, but I do believe there are a small number of people who have moved on from the last great white QC hope and who now pin their hopes to the next ego to apparently save Ulster from the abyss. These are the people who are trying to manipulate attacks on Orange hall to make some obscure political point.

    When there’s some allegation of leadership coming from the Orange Institution I’ll come back with sincerest apologies….. by the way… what would your view be if/when the DUP deliver the compensation/insurance issue on Orange Halls. Will they still be the beastly uncaring people? Given that its all apparently their fault, they would therefore get the credit for solving it? No? Or maybe there’ll just be another issue.

    Of course, if all else fails we can be sure in the knowledge that we’ll have someone around to remind us how terrible the 70’s and 80’s were and that really its still just as bad as that now. On that note, has the great Allisterite Willie Ross actually accepted power sharing with the SDLP yet? Cant wait to see that manifesto when it trundles along……. How is the Limavady branch going?